Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor to Keynote 24th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service on May 7

Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Mike Black also scheduled to speak

ARTESIA, NEW MEXICO – Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor will deliver the keynote address at the 24th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service being held Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Interior badge in Artesia, New Mexico.  Also scheduled to speak is BIA Director Michael S. Black.

The Memorial Service honors tribal, state, local, and federal law enforcement officers working on federal Indian lands and in tribal communities who have given their lives in the line of duty.  It also is the occasion when the names of officers who will be added to the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial monument located at the academy are formally announced.

This year, five individuals will be added bringing the total number of officers listed on the memorial to 108:

  • Alaska Village Public Safety Officer Ronald Zimin who on October 22, 1986, was ambushed and shot while responding to a domestic violence crime.
  • Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Patrick Johnson who on May 1, 2014, was shot and killed while investigating reports of a person brandishing a firearm in the village of Tanana.
  • Alaska State Trooper Gabriel Rich who on May 1, 2014, was ambushed while investigating reports of a person brandishing a firearm in the village of Tanana.
  • Officer Jair Cabrera of the Salt River Police Department in Arizona who on May 24, 2014, was shot inside his vehicle while conducting a traffic stop.
  • Special Agent Colin Clark of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services (OJS) who on March 21, 2004, died during a drug enforcement operation in Michigan.

OJS holds the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service in conjunction with other law enforcement organizations and agencies including the International Association of Chiefs of Police Indian Country Law Enforcement Section, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, home to the memorial, service and academy.

The Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was first dedicated on May 7, 1992, at the Indian Police Academy then located in Marana, Ariz.  The academy and memorial later moved to their present site, where the latter was re-dedicated on May 6, 1993.

The memorial’s design is based on indigenous design concepts.  Comprised of three granite markers sited within a circular walkway lined with sage, a plant of spiritual significance to many tribes, the memorial includes four planters filled with foliage in colors representing people of all races.  The planters represent the four directions and are located near the walkway’s entrance.

The earliest inscribed name dates back to 1852.  In addition to those from the BIA and tribal law enforcement, officers listed represent numerous law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Border Patrol, the New Mexico State Police, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Navajo County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Customs Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The list includes one female officer from the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety who was killed in 1998; a father and son, both BIA police officers, who died in 1998 and 2001, respectively; and two FBI agents killed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975.

The 24th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service will be live-streamed.  To view the event, visit http://www.ksvpradio.com/BIA/ and type in the password “biamemorial.”  To view the memorial and a list of the officers’ names inscribed upon it, visit http://www.indianaffairs.gov/WhoWeAre/BIA/OJS/fallen/index.htm.

WHO: Mike Connor, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the InteriorMichael S. Black, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, DOI
WHAT: Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor will deliver the keynote address at the 24th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service where the names of five fallen officers being added to the memorial will be formally announced.  Also scheduled to speak is Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black.
WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. MDT
WHERE: BIA Indian Police Academy, DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, 1300 West Richey Avenue, Artesia, N.M.  Phone (505) 748-8153 for directions.

 

 

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