A dozen new Navajo Nation police officers will be sworn in Friday in Chinle. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they’re the first graduates of the Navajo Police Training Academy in 10 years.
Navajo recruits have been trained in Prescott, Tucson and Phoenix for the last decade after the academy’s former building was condemned. It’s now housed in the Chinle Police Department’s old facility and will be able to graduate far more cadets each year.
Tribal officials say the new officers are part of a major effort to reform its training program. They’ve received modern instruction in federal, state and tribal law as well as communication and technology. In addition, the officers were trained in Navajo community-oriented policing and restoration-of-harmony techniques.
They’ll be the first Navajo officers to wear body cameras. Half of this year’s graduating cadets are female.
The Navajo Police Training Academy is the only such program operated by a Native American tribe. Fewer than 200 officers patrol the 27,000-square-mile reservation.
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