Assistant Secretary Washburn Visits Isleta Pueblo, Participates in BIA OJS National “Don’t Shatter the Dream” Campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn visited the Pueblo of Isleta today to participate in the tribe’s impaired-driving checkpoint under the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ 2012 national campaign to prevent impaired driving during the holiday season, known as “Don’t Shatter the Dream.” Operated by the Bureau’s Office of Justice Services (OJS), the campaign began December 14 and will continue through January 1, 2013.
Washburn was joined by OJS Division of Highway Safety Deputy Associate Director Algin Young at the checkpoint, which was staffed by Isleta tribal police, where they watched officers check cars and deploy a Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile unit provided by OJS to support the operation.
“The work done by Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal law enforcement to serve and protect tribal communities like Isleta Pueblo is of vital interest to the administration and DOI,” Washburn said. “As a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Mexico, I am all too familiar with the human tragedies that result from impaired driving accidents. I want to thank our law enforcement officers and partners for this ‘Don’t Shatter the Dream’ mobilization, and urge everyone to drive and ride safely this holiday season.”
The BAT Mobile is a 40-foot long mobile unit that uses state-of-the art lighting, camera and communications systems. It has equipment to measure breath alcohol levels, a containment cell to transport suspects, and an interior camera to produce court-quality videos of the testing process.
“Keeping drivers and their passengers safe on the roadways during the holidays is the main goal of the Don’t Shatter the Dream’ mobilization,” Young said. “BIA and tribal police work together in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
The 211,095-acre Isleta Indian Reservation, located south of the city of Albuquerque, is home to a population of approximately 3,400 Isleta tribal members and other residents, and is traversed by 291 road miles. During their 2011 Don’t Shatter the Dream mobilization, Isleta tribal law enforcement issued numerous seat belt and speeding citations, and made five DUI arrests, with no fatalities occurring during the mobilization period.
This is the eighth year that BIA and tribal law enforcement officers have implemented the Don’t Shatter the Dream campaign on federal Indian lands.
The BIA Office of Justice Services’ mission is to enhance public safety and protect property in Indian Country by funding or providing law enforcement, corrections and tribal court services to the nation’s federally recognized tribes. It also coordinates emergency preparedness support on federal Indian lands by working cooperatively with other federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout Indian Country. It also operates the Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M., which provides training and professional development to BIA and tribal law enforcement personnel.