BIA Director Michael Black to Keynote 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service
Three names to be added to Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Director Michael S. Black will deliver the keynote address at the 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service being held Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. He will be accompanied by BIA Office of Justice Services Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan.
The service honors tribal, state, local and federal law enforcement officers working on federal Indian lands and in tribal communities who have given their lives in the line of duty, and is the occasion when the names of officers who will be added to the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial monument at the academy are formally announced.
This year, three individuals will be added bringing the total number of officers listed on the memorial to 111:
• Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety Officer Alex Kee Yazzie who was killed on March 19, 2015, during a shoot-out with a suspect who had earlier shot at another officer responding to a domestic violence call. The subject had barricaded himself in the house and held his family hostage. The suspect later fled from the officers and was located in a rural area by Officer Yazzie and responding officers.
• On October 6, 2015, Cherokee Indian Police Department Officer Anthony "Tony" Edward Lossiah succumbed to injuries he suffered while assisting a fellow officer in the pursuit of a fleeing suspect. Officer Lossiah's injuries turned critical, resulting in his death.
• New Mexico State Police Officer Nash Garcia who was killed on March 11, 1952, while pursuing two suspects on the Acoma Indian Reservation in New Mexico. Officer Garcia was ambushed by the suspects.
OJS holds the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service in conjunction with other law enforcement organizations and agencies including the International Association of Chiefs of Police Indian Country Law Enforcement Section, the National Sheriffs' Association, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Artesia. The FLETC campus is home to the memorial, service and academy.
The Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was first dedicated on May 7, 1992, at the BIA Indian Police Academy then located in Marana, Ariz. The academy and memorial were later moved to their present site, where the latter was re-dedicated on May 6, 1993.
The memorial's design is based upon indigenous concepts. Comprised of three granite markers sited within a circular walkway lined with sage, a plant of spiritual significance to many tribes, the memorial includes four planters filled with foliage in colors representing people of all nations. The planters represent the four directions and are located near the walkway's entrance.
The earliest inscribed name dates back to 1852. In addition to those from BIA and tribal law enforcement, officers listed represent numerous law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Border Patrol, the New Mexico State Police, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Navajo County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Customs Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The list includes one female officer from the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety who was killed in 1998; a father and son, both BIA officers, who died in 1998 and 2001, respectively; and two FBI agents killed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975.
The 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service will be live-streamed. To view the event, visit http://www.ksvpradio.com/BIA and type in the password "biamemorial."
WHO: Michael S. Black, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, DOI
Darren Cruzan, Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Justice Services,
Bureau of Indian Affairs, DOI
WHAT: BIA Director Michael Black will deliver the keynote address at the 25th Annual
Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service, where the names of
three fallen law enforcement officers will be added to the memorial.
WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. MDT.
WHERE: BIA Indian Police Academy, DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers,
1300 West Richey Avenue, Artesia, N.M. Phone (505) 748-8151 for directions.