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Navajo Tribal Police or Navajo Nation Police is the law enforcement agency on the Navajo Nation in the Southwestern United States. It is under the Navajo Division of Public Safety. It is headed by a Chief of Police, six Police Captains and eight Police Lieutenants. It includes: Internal Affairs, Patrol, K-9 Unit, Dive Team, Tactical Operations Team, Traffic Unit, Fiscal management, Recruitment, and Training Divisions. The Navajo Tribal Police are responsible for seven districts, Chinlemarker, Crownpointmarker, Dilkonmarker, Kayentamarker, Shiprockmarker, Tuba Citymarker, and Window Rockmarker. There are also several substations in each district ranging from one man substations or up to five officers each. Currently there are 330 police officers, 45 criminal investigators and there are 279 civilians, acting as support staff for the department . There are an approximate 1.9 police officers per 1,000 people and one officer is responsible for patrolling of reservation land. The Navajo Tribal Police are funded by federal contracts and grants and general Navajo Nation funds.


The Treaty of 1868 that released the Navajos from their captivity at Fort Sumner established law enforcement as the responsibility of the Federal Government and was administered by the Branch of Law and Order. The first Navajo Police were created in 1872. They were dissolved three years later despite their successes. Although there were police on the reservation, they were funded and supported by the United Statesmarker Government. The Navajo Tribal Police Department was not reestablished until 1959 per request of the Navajo Tribal Council. Not only were they responsible for law enforcement, but they were also responsible for the care and custody of prisoners.

Equipment & Vehicles

All Officers are issued Glock 22 40 Cal. side arm, expandable baton, handcuffs, bulletproof vest, pepper spray and portable radio linked to a central dispatch. Rural substation officers are issued take home cars, a choice of a shot gun or AR15 assault rifle, spikestrips and radar guns. There are over 200 vehicles in the Police Department's fleet ranging from SUV's including: 4x4 Chevrolet Tahoes, 2WD Pursuit Tahoes, 4x4 Chevrolet Blazers, 4x4 Chevrolet Suburban and 4x4 Jeep Liberty's to Sedans: Chevrolet Impala and Ford Crown Victoria. There is also Kawasaki Kz1000 for Motor Units, 4 Wheelers for special events/ crowd control and bicycle units. All patrol vehicles are currently outfitted with laptop computers working with local WiFi internet connections to help officers write and file reports electronically. The department recently obtained a new mobile command post vehicle and is assigned to the Shiprock District.

Fallen Officers

Since the establishment of the Navajo Tribal Police, 8 officers have died in the line of duty.

Officer Date of Death Details
Police Officer Burton Begay
Monday, November 17, 1975
Police Officer Loren Whitehat
Thursday, May 10, 1979
Police Officer Roy Lee Stanley
Saturday, December 5, 1987
Police Officer Andy Begay
Saturday, December 5, 1987
Sergeant Hoskie Allen Gene
Saturday, January 6, 1996
Police Officer II Samuel Anthony Redhouse
Monday, February 17, 1997
Police Officer Esther Todecheene
Monday, June 8, 1998
Automobile accident
Police Officer Winsonfred A. Filfred
Friday, April 2, 1999
Automobile accident

Fictional Portrayals

Officers of the Navajo Tribal Police are the subjects of a series of mystery novels by Tony Hillerman. The novels deal with two fictional officers named Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.


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