LeChee Chapter pleads for increase in police presence

Law and Order Committee continues to address the need for public safety in the Western Navajo Agency

LECHEE, Ariz. — On Feb. 12, the Law and Order Committee (LOC) received reports regarding the need for a police substation in LeChee, five miles south of Page, Arizona.

The committee heard from LeChee Chapter administration, chapter officials, Antelope Point Marina General Manager Mike Anderson and the Page Police Department.

During his report, LeChee Chapter President Jerry Williams pleaded for more police officers to provide public safety services because of the high volume of tourists in LeChee and surrounding communities.

LOC member Council Delegate Herman Daniels, Jr. (Shonto, Naa’tsis’Áán, Oljato, Ts’ah Bii Kin), who represents four chapters in the Western Navajo Agency, explained some of the challenges regarding public safety within rural communities.

“Navajo Western Agency chapters are located in high tourist traffic areas and each chapter has large land bases, which makes it difficult to provide any services in rural areas,” Daniels said. “However, safety concerns should be a priority for the chapters and [they should] work together to make services available for community members and visitors.”

During the report, Council Delegate Tuchoney Slim, Jr. (Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, K’ai’Bii’To, LeChee, Tonalea/Red Lake) highlighted many challenges relating to jurisdiction between the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department, city of Page and the National Park Service.

According to the Page Police Department, it has assisted the Nation by responding to approximately 200 calls in 2016, and provided cross commission and cultural sensitivity awareness trainings for their officers.

In March 2016, the committee approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Navajo Nation Police Department and the Page Police Department to improve law enforcement services by providing mutual use of police personnel and resources in the event of a disaster, disorder, emergencies or special requests in the respective jurisdiction.

LOC member Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr. (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tachee/Blue Gap, Tselani/Cottonwood) recommended LeChee, Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, and K’ai’Bii’To Chapter, NNDPS and Antelope Point Marina to collaborate and develop a strategic plan to build a police substation.

“The committee needs a collaborative, proper, well established plan from the entities,” Begay said. “Everyone needs to come together and develop a plan that the committee can endorse. The process to build a police substation could be rapidly done if everyone is on the same page.”

The Law and Order Committee approved all the reports with a 2-0 vote.

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