Community mourns loss of Kayenta police officer in off-duty accident

Senior Police Officer Nelson Martin.

Submitted photo

Senior Police Officer Nelson Martin.

KAYENTA, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation mourned the passing of Senior Police Officer Nelson Martin who died in an off-duty automobile accident Aug. 21.

Martin was a member of the Kayenta Police Department and his loss was a shock to the community and the Navajo Nation.

“For one to lose his life in the way Officer Nelson Martin did is tragic and something we want to avoid as much as possible,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said. “We offer our condolences to the family and we know that not only you, but the community and the Nation will miss him greatly.”

As a member of the strategic reaction team and as a school resource officer, Martin worked in collaboration with the Kayenta Unified School District to provide security, prevent crime and create a safe environment for school children.

“The brave group of men and women in law enforcement undertake the tremendous challenge of serving and protecting the public,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “Thank you to all of our police officers for their service. Thank you, Officer Martin.”

Martin will be remembered as a kind and thoughtful man with a wonderful sense of humor. He was well-respected in the community and within his department, where he worked since 2002..

In speaking to the family, friends and loved ones of Officer Martin, Navajo Nation Chief of Police Phillip Francisco said, “During the time of mourning, know that we are with you. The upcoming future will test Officer Martin’s family and our department. We ask for your prayers and support as we navigate this difficult time.”

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