Navajo Nation Hosts First Public Safety Summit in 15 Years

Published February 4, 2017

WINDOW ROCK — This past week the 2017 Navajo Nation Public Safety Summit took place at the Twin Arrows Casino on the Navajo Nation. Core public safety entities as well as supporting departments attended the conference. The Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services provided tremendous support for the event, including planning staff, conference space, and food and beverages.

Participants included the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, Navajo Nation Police Department, Ramah Navajo Police Department, Navajo Nation Department of Corrections, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, Navajo Nation Peacemaking, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, Office of the Attorney General of the Navajo Nation, Navajo Nation Office of Prosecutor & Juvenile Justice, Navajo Nation Office of Public Defenders, Navajo Nation Department of Social Services, Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services, Navajo Epidemiology Center, Navajo Nation Department of Natural Resources, Navajo Nation Department of Information Technology, and Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

The mission of the week-long summit was to ensure safety and protection for Navajo families and communities. On days 1 and 2, participants undertook philosophical exercise of Nitsáhákees (Thinking) by identifying the current crime and resource statistics on the Nation. On days 2 and 3, they participated in Nahat’á (Planning) as they attended presentations on public safety best practices in Indian country (including response, prevention, restorative justice, and victim services), that provided Sihasín (points of hope) for the team.

The team also identified the modern monsters afflicting the Navajo people—such as addiction, violence, erosion of the family unit as the foundation for social health—that threaten the safety and security of Navajo families and communities. On days 3, 4 and 5 the team continued Nahat’á by identifying a clear vision (Sihasín) for the ideal Navajo Nation public safety system. They also developed a strategy for taking on the Nation’s modern monsters, and created specific plans of action to meet their mission.

Additionally, the departments committed to work together to maximize effectiveness, engage with the community and focus on the youth, communicate across districts, and fill all vacant positions as quickly as possible. Now the team will go forth to Iiná, bringing life to their hope by executing their specific plans of action.

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