TUBA CITY, Ariz. - On May 7, the Annual Tuba City EMS, Law and Justice Day was held to educate the community about the court and different health and safety services in the community. At the court Vinton Yazzie and Carl Nez, court bailiffs, greeted visitors.
Court Clerk Lori Begay gave a quick tour of the courthouse and the different divisions such as the Family Court, Civil Traffic, and new services like the "Children Are Precious Passengers" (CAPP) classes.
CAPP classes allow individuals cited for no child restraints in vehicles to take classes instead of paying a $125 fine, or have the fine reduced. She stated that budget cuts affect programs, but they recently hired a new court clerk so they are not experiencing any staff reductions.
Another popular aspect of the event was the display of different entities. One of the participants was Minnie Nez from the Tuba City Regional Business Development Office. Her office helps businesses get started, makes loans and oversees most businesses in the Western Navajo Agency and helps set up business site leases. She said a Church's Chicken is set to open soon. She also stated that most of the businesses are Navajo-owned. For more information call (928) 283-3010.
Another presenter was Gary Davis, prevention specialist from the Department of Behavioral Health. His focus is on drug awareness, to stay in school, suicide and domestic violence precention. Davis visits schools and gives presentations. His office helps with drug and alcohol treatment, referrals to outside treatment centers in Shiprock and Chinle. They also hold Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day and Narcotics Anonymous meetings every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. and a monthly sweat lodge. Call (928) 283-3346 for more information.
Another participant was Elsie Begay of the Tuba City Western Navajo Boys and Girls club and Office of Youth Services. They provide after school activities, help with homework and promote prevention activities. Right now their facility is closed, but they are doing more outreach services. This summer they plan to set up at Greyhills Academy for their summer program. To participate, youths need to submit an application.
They also hold community events such as walks and Sparks activities to promote drug prevention and motivational activities. For more information call (928) 283-3021
Phil Begay from the Navajo Treatment Center for Children and their families wanted to let the people know that there are services available to the community to help with a whole range of problems that individuals may be experiencing. He stated referrals are made to their office and patients can be seen on a voluntary basis as well.
Outpatient counseling sessions are offered to individuals, couples, groups and families. They can be held at school, home or at offices by qualified and licensed therapists. Situations such as school problems, anger management, suicide, sexual abuse, drinking and smoking, parent-child problems and other issues can be addressed through their department. For more information call (928) 283-3261.
Also attending was hospital security officers Harold Lane and Thomas Yazzie. They wanted to inform the public that they help keep the hospital property safe and take any violations of the law very seriously.
Representing the Hopi Resource Enforcement services, otherwise known as Hopi Rangers, was Roderick Holmes. He stated that they are doing the best they can to enforce range duties, but with the vast amount of Hopi Tribal land, they have to cover quite a bit of territory. They enforce violations of natural resources, livestock and are certified peace officers.
Holmes is in charge of planning the fishing derby, which usually occurs in June. He is in the planning process for that event.
Representing the Behavioral Health services in Kaibeto was Ruby Bennett, prevention specialist. She stated that since it is prom and graduation season their focus is on underage drinking and prevention. If more kids were discouraged from drinking and partying then that would prevent traffic fatalities.
Ongoing treatment available is outpatient treatment also they make referrals to treatment facilities in Page. They focus on prevention of substance abuse and have four counselors promoting a Navajo faith-based program.
Susie Salt, Community Involvement Specialist from the Family Violence Prevention and Services for the Western Navajo regions, was on hand to let the community know that there is help available for victims of domestic violence.
They work with police to intervene and provide safety to victims by providing safe houses away from the abuser. The court has a victim's advocate that determines whether they are not safe in their homes, assists with protection orders and helps victim's go through the court hearings and helps them make a choice to leave the abuser. For more information or help call (928) 283-3266.
Representing the Navajo Nation Animal Control was Officer Dale Lucero Sr. Lucero stated that people need to tie or confine their dogs and license or register their pets which is a responsibility of pet owners. There are only six officers that cover the Navajo Nation and in addition to pet duties, he has livestock duties, handles bite cases and picks up unwanted animals. When he is not busy, he offers free rabies vaccines and animal licenses for $10. Call to setup an appointment at (928) 283-3089.
In addition to helping those on probation, the Tuba City Probation and Parole Office has implemented a cleanup program for the community. Bags donated by the Navajo Generating Station and ADOT have been made available to the community to help clean up trash. They are looking into a recycling program to recycle some of the cans and bottles that litter the reservation.
The Sacred Mountain Ambulance Service was on hand to give the many school children a look into a real ambulance. Dispatcher Vicky Bigman stated that they are located in Kayenta as well and are a private company and also provide non emergency service. They normally are compensated by AHCSS for these services. They have three ambulances in Kayenta and two in Tuba City. Marlene Goodman is the EMT for the Tuba City area and gave presentations to the students.
The Navajo Police Department also was giving students a look into a real police vehicle and showed some of the equipment utilized even a gas mask.
The Coconino Sheriff's Office was on hand to make people aware of the Community Emergency Response Team. They are private citizens that are trained to help respond to emergencies when public safety is overwhelmed. They are trained for disaster preparedness, damage assessment, fire safety, terrorism awareness as well as other emergency preparedness. Any citizen can become trained as CERT responders. Gerry Blair, Community Program Planner for the sheriff's office, also brought along Connie Leto from the Citizens against Substance Abuse (CASA). CASA encourages healthy choices and creates an alliance against drugs. They create partnerships with the Navajo Police Department, Behavioral Health Service, Navajo Nation Meth Task Force Education and other community services for more information for training call (928) 226-5089.
A little known division of the court is the case management office. They provide services for juveniles and have a staff of five people. They make intakes and assessments on juveniles and determine what the needs of the individual may require such as mental health, behavioral health or other services according to Glorianna Woody, a case manager.
There are numerous services available to the community for a variety of needs based on all the participants at this yearly event and they encourage the public to take advantage and be aware of all the services offered.