Law and Order Committee approves law enforcement Intergovernmental Agreement between Navajo Nation and city of Page

WINDOW ROCK - The Law and Order Committee(LOC) March 21 unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Navajo Nation Police Department, Navajo Division of Public Safety, and the city of Page Police Department to ensure better law enforcement services.

According to the agreement, the intent is to provide mutual use of law enforcement personnel and resources in the event of a disaster, disorder, emergencies or special requests of events in the respective jurisdiction. Both parties intend to provide trained and experienced law enforcement officers to increase protection for the public.

"This is a great opportunity to address public safety for the two communities. The community of LeChee and city of Page need to continue to work together to promote safety for families," LOC member Council Delegate Otto Tso (Tó Nanees Dizi), who co-­sponsored the legislation, said.

The agreement outlines the provisions for the scope of powers, arrest and custody procedures, citations for traffic offenses, investigations, extraditions, forfeitures, supervision and control, compensation and benefits, indemnification, saving clause, and termination.

Page Police Chief Frank Balkcom, Sr., said he has met with nearby chapters and people talked about their expectations of the Page Police Department, adding that he appreciates the opportunity to work with the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed the agreement Feb. 8, prior to the LOC's approval.

LOC chair Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie (Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau) said any intergovernmental agreements should be presented for approval before the appropriate council standing committees before the president signs off.

"This agreement was done backward by going to the President's Office before LOC, but I am grateful that my committee members approved the agreement to provide better public safety resources for our rural communities near Page," Yazzie said.

Both the city of Page and the Navajo Nation will be required to issue a mutual aid law enforcement certification card, which will require Page police officers to complete a 16-hour training course provided by the Navajo Nation.

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