Navajo Nation Police

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Navajo Nation Police
AZ - Navajo Police.png
Patch of the Navajo Nation Police
Agency overview
Formed 1872
Employees 644
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
NNPolice Districts.svg
Map of Navajo Nation Police's jurisdiction.
Size 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Window Rock, Arizona
Police Officers 210
Civilians 269
Navajo Nation Police homepage

The Navajo Nation Police (formerly known as the Navajo Tribal 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 Nation Police are responsible for seven districts, Chinle, Crownpoint, Dilkon, Kayenta, Shiprock, Tuba City, and Window Rock. There are also several substations in each district ranging from one man substations or up to five officers each. Currently there are 210 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 70 square miles (180 km2) of reservation land. The Navajo Nation Police are funded by federal contracts and grants and general Navajo Nation funds. This police department is one of only two large Native American police Departments with 100 or more sworn officers in the United States (the other is the Oglala Lakota Nation's police department).[1]


The Navajo Treaty of 1868 that released the Navajos from captivity at Fort Sumner established law enforcement as the responsibility of the federal government. The first Navajo police were created in 1872 and dissolved three years later. Although there were police on the reservation, they were funded and supported by the United States government. The Navajo Nation Police Department was not re-established until 1959 at the request of the Navajo Tribal Council. The Navajo Nation Police are responsible for law enforcement and for the care and custody of prisoners.

Equipment and vehicles[edit]

Navajo Police Chevrolet Tahoe.jpg

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 semi-auto rifle, spikestrips and radar guns. There are over 200 vehicles in the Police Department's fleet ranging from SUVs including: 4x4 Chevrolet Tahoes, 2WD Pursuit Tahoes, 4x4 Chevrolet Blazers, 4x4 Chevrolet Suburban and 4x4 Jeep Libertys 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 which is assigned to the Shiprock District.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Navajo Tribal Police, 11 officers have died while on duty.[2]

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Officers of the Navajo Nation 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.


  1. ^ Wakeling, Stewart; Jorgensen, Miriam; Michaelson, Susan; and Begay, Manley. Policing on American Indian Reservations. Washington D.C.: United States Department of Justice; 2001. pp vi Accessed at:
  2. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]