Navajo Police Officer Alex Yazzie
Published May 17, 2016
WASHINGTON— As a part of National Police Week, four New Mexico police officers were honored at a memorial service for fallen officers in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 15.
The 35th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service was held on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
This year the name of Navajo Nation Police Officer Alex Yazzie was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall. Officer Yazzie died in the line of duty when he was shot on the Navajo Indian Reservation last March 20, 2015.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said Officer Yazzie was known throughout the Shiprock District as an officer who protected the community by patrolling the streets and dealing with criminals.
Navajo police officers carry their fallen comrade, officer Alex Yazzie, as another officer salutes on Friday at the Pinon Hills Community Church in Farmington, N.M. ( Navajo Times photo – Donovan Quintero)
“He served distinguishably and many people trusted him,” President Begaye said. “It was unfortunate for the Nation to have lost Officer Yazzie when he was pursuing a criminal in the Red Valley area.”
Officer Yazzie was also honored on May, 2, at the 43rd Annual Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service held at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix, Ariz. Officer Yazzie was the only officer in Arizona killed in the line of duty during 2015. His name was added to the list of fallen officers on the Arizona Peace Officer Memorial wall.
During the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial, Yazzie’s wife Marenda and their four children were in attendance. Marenda Yazzie said the memorials reminded her of the incident but she has learned to deal with these emotions as a healing process.
“I was able to feel honor. It was an honor knowing that he meant a lot to so many people. It surprised me to know that he was the only officer killed in the state of Arizona in 2015. I didn’t know that until tonight,” she said.
President Begaye extends condolences to the family on behalf of the Office of the President and Vice President and said he prays the Lord will protect and watch over them.
“We are grateful to have had Officer Yazzie serve for the length of time he did with the Navajo Nation. In his memory, we ask that he rest in peace,” President Begaye said.