Navajo Nation to use ARPA funding for Enhanced 911
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has taken the first steps to developing an Enhanced 911 system as the Fiscal Recovery Fund Office and the Office of the Management and Budget have notified the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding of $35 million is now available for the project.
An Enhanced 911 system (E911) and rural addressing initiative would assist the Navajo Nation’s emergency responses and disaster preparedness.
“During our administration, we have taken critical steps to improve public safety and emergency response across the Navajo Nation. With additional assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act, Division of Public Safety Executive Director Jesse Delmar prioritized the initiative of the E911 system and rural addressing to improve communications infrastructure for emergency service personnel to quickly and efficiently locate an individual or family in the event of an emergency,” said President Jonathan Nez.
The E911 system will link a telephone number to a permanent unique address that will clearly identify where a caller is physically located. It requires the establishment of a physical address to enhance the response by public safety personnel. Rural addressing will provide uniform signages of roadways, and assignments of numbers for all properties and structures throughout the Navajo Nation.
“A resilient 9-1-1 system will allow our first responders to quickly identify the location of calls and will create the conditions of better response. Additionally, the system will allow better accountability for our program and will leverage technology to enable quality response,” Navajo Nation Police Chief Daryl Noon.
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, President Nez authorized the allocation of an additional $500,000 within the nation’s fiscal budget for 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.
“Essential public safety services are key in ensuring that rural Navajo communities receive the same basic resources as those in urban areas. Investing in public safety will not only improve the basic quality of life but assist in the development and sustainability of the Navajo Nation,” added President Nez. “Also, keep in mind that the Navajo Nation successfully implemented $714 million in CARES Act funds that the Navajo people received in 2020 – those funds provided the first round of hardship assistance, electricity to over 730 families, $60 million in direct financial relief for Navajo artisans and business owners, hazard pay for frontline warriors, and many other infrastructure improvements. The ARPA funds will continue to build on the success of the CARES Act for future generations.”