History of the Northwest Shuttle
The Northwest Shuttle began in Washington State in 1979 when a transport officer named Spike Miliman organized a meeting between agencies on the east and west side of the state with the idea that through communication and cooperation, each agency could save officer resources by coordinating trips to return fugitives from justice. This original meeting grew to an organized event and the shuttle or "mini-chain" was off and running. The shuttle has grown to include all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of California, Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Utah and has since expanded into parts of Texas.
The shuttle remains a 15 state system of in-state warrant and out-of-state fugitive return built on a handshake and a phone call. There are no federal laws or state statutes that govern shuttle business, only the goal of financially responsible fugitive return and the cooperative efforts and communication of each agency each week and yearly at the regional conference.
If your agency would like to participate...
The Northwest Shuttle co-op is a relay system between Sheriff's Offices and Police Departments throughout participating states. It is designed to transport fugitives from one state to another via the participating agency's normal transport schedules if possible. This relay system allows agencies to extradite more fugitives, clear more warrants, save more budget dollars and man-power hours than by using traditional extradition methods.
There is no formal participation agreement and no membership fee. It is a "gentlemen's agreement" between agencies. The only requirement to belong to the "shuttle" is that your agency reciprocates by assisting in transportation or housing when you are called upon.
All local and state charges against the prisoner must be satisfied prior to placing him on the "shuttle". Once the prisoner has waived extradition or has been served with a Governor's Warrant and is ready for transport, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed in order to start them on the "shuttle".
Always remember, this system is built on cooperation and communication. When your agency asks for assistance from the "shuttle", be prepared to go out of your way to assist when it is your turn. Hopefully, more agencies and more states will join in this network to bring more fugitives to justice affordably.
If you are a law enforcement agency and are interested in being an active participant in the Northwest Shuttle or have any questions, you can contact The South Dakota State Northwest Shuttle Coordinator. The coordinator is an employee of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office and can be reached by calling 605-394-6117 or by e-mail.
The Pennington County Sheriff's Office has numerous opportunities for you to volunteer including:
- Girls Circle
- Safety First
- Senior Volunteer
- ...much more