Navajo Police Academy graduates 10 new police officers
CROWNPOINT, N.M.. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez attended the graduation ceremony of 10 new police officers in Crownpoint, New Mexico June 25.
Class 57, 10 Diné men and women received their Navajo Nation Police badge during the event held at Navajo Technical University.
“Today is a very special occasion for the 10 men and women who are taking on the tremendous challenge of serving and protecting our people and communities," Nez said. "They are now our frontline warriors who will take on the risks and sacrifices to lessen the burden on our people. I am very proud of each and every one of the graduates and their families for completing the police academy training. Serving in the line of duty will be a physical, emotional, and mental challenge for you and your loved ones, but through prayer and the support from your families and fellow officers, I am confident that you will serve and protect our communities well. Together, we pray for their physical and mental health and for protection from any harm. Congratulations to the graduates of Class 57."
During his remarks, Nez also highlighted the recent steps taken to improve public safety including working with federal agencies to increase salaries to help recruit and retain Navajo Police Officers and increasing funds to secure additional K-9 units to help with drug busts and other criminal activities in various communities.
Last October, Nez also signed into law the Diné Action Plan, which uses the traditional Navajo planning model of Nitsáhákees (thinking), Nahat’á (planning), Iiná (action), and Siihásin (reflection) to help address public safety, violence, substance abuse, suicide, and missing and murdered Diné relatives.
Within the last year, the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety also created the Proactive Criminal Enforcement Program (PACE) comprised of K-9 units, the Drug Enforcement Unit, and commissioned police personnel that conduct field operations to uncover and stop or disrupt crimes related to drug use/sales, bootlegging activities and violent crimes.
In addition to federal funding, Nez authorized the allocation of an additional $500,000 to the Navajo Police Department to support the drug enforcement efforts and other public safety operations, which have led to multiple seizures of large quantities of drugs, alcohol, and illegal firearms and the arrests of violent offenders.
First Lady Phefelia Nez also congratulated the 10 new officers and spoke about the importance of supporting early childhood education and programs to increase crime prevention later in the lives of children. As the First Lady of the Navajo Nation, she continues to work with and to support early childhood and care development advocates and agencies.
With their family members nearby, the graduates took the oath of honor administered by Navajo Nation Judge Leonard Livingston during the ceremony.
Information provided by the Office of the President