Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, July 05

Emergency training facility on tap in Chinle

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.-Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commended the Navajo Division of Public Safety on securing nearly $29 million from the Judicial/Public Safety Fund for facility construction. Included in the project cost, $1.4 million will go toward the planning and design of a public safety telecommunications and emergency medical training academy. It will be located in Chinle, Arizona.

Currently, 80 of the 128 acres of land needed for the project have already been withdrawn.

Shelly said this project represents leadership at the chapter level working together with the Navajo government for the benefit of the community.

"The residents and Chapter of Chinle have taken a significant and positive step forward in approving the land withdrawal and through the leadership of our lawmakers, a reallocation of funding will now help to begin the planning phase of this massive project that will benefit the Navajo Nation," Shelly said.

The plan calls for educational and technical support for all public safety workers by providing academies for police, emergency medical services, emergency management, fire and rescue; as well as tactical villages, indoor and outdoor shooting ranges, two helicopter landing pads and a dive tank for dive teams.

In addition to training public safety personnel, Department of Public Safety Director John Billison said the academy will provide emergency response training for all residents of Chinle, which will help in the event that a disaster occurs.

The division is also seeking an additional $50 million from various sources including federal agencies for the overall project that will bolster the local economy through job creation.

Billison also said he contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking the additional funding for construction costs and discussed providing the Emergency Management Institute, which is the training body of FEMA, a west coast presence at the training academy.

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