Vice President Shelly, DPS director attend re-opening of To'hajiilee public safety building

TO'HAJIILEE, N.M. - Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly and Division of Public Safety Director Samson Cowboy joined Tohajiilee community members for the reopening of its newly renovated Public Safety Building.

Located next to the Tohajiilee Chapter House, the renovated building will allow both Tohajiilee and Alamo community members direct access to Navajo law enforcement officers and criminal investigators.

In newly-furnished offices, law enforcement workers will also be able to complete police reports and carry out necessary administrative tasks. Once additional funding is attained, the Division of Public Safety will make further renovations to include a small detention facility.

Vice President Shelly told community members Feb. 14 that the Navajo Nation continues to seek and advocate locally and nationally for public safety funding. He said funding options might exist on the Navajo Nation.

"Everywhere we go, the budget is tight," he said. "But one thing we can consider is set-aside funds. The Navajo Nation Council could make an amendment to the Navajo fuel tax. Perhaps a certain percent could assist with public safety."

If that option is not feasible, he said, the Nation could look into creating a set-aside fund for public safety. In the past, it has created a Veterans Trust Fund.

Vice President Shelly thanked community members for supporting Navajo Law Enforcement Officers and working with the Division of Public Safety to move the Tohajiilee public safety initiative forward.

Individuals involved with the initiative include Navajo Nation Council Delegates Lawrence Platero and Edmund Yazzie, Tohajiilee Chapter Vice President Mark Begay and Coordinator Nora J. Morris, Crownpoint Criminal Investigations Supervisor Robert Platero, Crownpoint Law Enforcement Captain Steven Nelson, and the Department of Investigations' David Charles.

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