Navajo Nation President & Vice President Congratulate Navajo Police Training Academy Class 53 at Graduation Ceremony

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, Navajo Nation Division of
Public Safety, and the Navajo Police Training Academy Class 53 during the graduation ceremony on Feb. 22, 2019 at Chinle Community Center in Chinle, Ariz.

Published February 25, 2019

CHINLE, Ariz. — President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer attended the Navajo Police Training Academy Class 53 graduation ceremony in support of 16 young and determined Navajo Police Officer recruits, who received their Navajo Nation police badge on Friday at Chinle Community Center in Chinle, Ariz. Each of the 16 officers successfully completed the 26-week police academy training, which was overseen by the Navajo Police Department.

The Navajo Police Academy, located in Chinle, prepares recruits for careers in law enforcement under an environment that upholds respect, self-discipline, accountability, academic achievement, integrity, and professionalism. The graduates of Class 53 completed challenging trainings in academics, physical and mental conditioning, communications, firearms, and others.

In a show of support for the officers, President Nez and Vice President Lizer joined the recruits on Thursday for the group’s final police academy run through the community of Chinle.

President Nez congratulated the new police officers and their families, and thanked them for their commitment and sacrifice during the graduation ceremony.

“We congratulate and commend the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the Navajo Police Department for supporting the new officers. It will be physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging for the new officers and their loved ones. However, through prayer and the support of their families I am confident they will serve and protect our communities well,” said President Nez. “Our young officers have the opportunity to restore respect and trust of authority within our communities through compassion, patience, and discipline.”

Class 53 is the second group of recruits to graduate from the newly established Navajo Police Training Academy within the last two years. The academy integrates Diné Fundamental Law, as well as state and federal laws into the training curriculum. Additionally, the police officers also earned their federal police commission by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and the Indian Police Academy and received 24 college credits from Navajo Technical University.

Vice President Lizer reminded the general public to continue to offer support and prayer for Navajo law enforcement and their families.

“Our new officers are entering into a new world of challenges and opportunities. I challenge everyone to pray for our officers and first responders. They witness incidents that some of us cannot bear to see or to think of. They will need our endless support and love. Let’s work together and be there for them as a relative, neighbor, and friend,” said Vice President Lizer.

The 16 police officer recruits took the oath of honor while their loved ones participated in the pinning of the Navajo Police Department badge. The 16 Navajo Nation recruits include:

·      Juliowna D. Begay, Chinle Police District

·      Terrence C. Benally, Shiprock Police District

·      Shawna A. Watchman, Window Rock Police District

·      Dwayne P. Hogue, Crownpoint Police District

·      Aaron M. Long, Window Rock Police District

·      Adrian L. Wauneka, Window Rock Police District

·      Albert Calamity, Jr., Crownpoint Police District

·      Paige K. Begay, Kayenta Police District

·      Kolby L. Bagey, Kayenta Police District

·      Derick H. Toadlena, Chinle Police District

·      Danielle K. Murdock, Shiprock Police District

·      Joseph J. Locaspino, Window Rock Police District

·      Christopher D. Cohoe, Crownpoint Police District

·      Dwyatt C. Holiday, Kayenta Police District

·      Leah M. Hatathlie, Tuba City Police District

·      Joshua F. Martinez Najera, Tuba City Police District

Also, in attendance at the ceremony was District Judge Cynthia Thompson, Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Executive Director Jesse Delmar, Chief of Police Phillip Francisco, Deputy Chief of Police Daryl Noon, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Marcus Chischilly, Council Delegate Eugene Tso, and Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton.

The 16 police officers will start their duty as Navajo police officers within their designated districts immediately.

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