By Admin on March 2017
WINDOW ROCK – On Mar. 27, the Navajo Nation Public Safety System Fund Act of 2017 (legislation no. 0055-17) passed the Budget and Finance Committee by a vote of two in favor and one opposed.
“We support this legislation to establish a public safety fund with the Ramah Settlement Funds to address public safety concerns within our Nation. We urge our communities to support the Navajo Nation Public Safety System Fund Act of 2017 to strengthen our public safety system for generations to come,” said President Russell Begaye.
As stated in the legislation, the Navajo Nation Public Safety System Fund income earned from the principal will be used to improve and expand the protections offered by the Navajo Nation’s criminal justice system.
“This fund will assist our public safety participants the opportunity to take on the most vicious monsters that plague our people: violence and substance abuse. This fund will equip our warriors with the tools necessary to fight these monsters and ensure healthier, safer communities,” said Vice President Jonathan Nez.
Letters of support were added to the legislation and signed by President Begaye, Vice President Nez, Acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan, Attorney General Ethel Branch, Chief Prosecutor Gertrude Lee, Department of Health Director Ramona Antone-Nez, Division of Public Safety Director Jesse Delmar, Navajo Police Chief Phillip Francisco, Navajo Public Defender Director Kathleen Bowman, and Division of Social Services Director Terrelene Massey.
As stated in the letter of support, this fund will allow system participants to tap into the fund Income to cover shortfalls and respond dramatically to shifts in crime levels.
“The entities working in the Nation’s criminal justice and public safety system have come together in a collaborative manner to support the creation of this fund. The fund will allow us to add a number of much-needed officer, prosecutor, defender, and judge positions to strengthen our overall system,” said Attorney General Branch. “Over time, by growing this fund, we also hope to fund capital projects, like police sub-stations, detox facilities, and domestic violence centers.”
We are calling on our constituents to have their council delegates pass this legislation at the upcoming Naa’bik’íyáti’ Committee. After this legislation passes the committee, it will be sent to the Navajo Nation Council for voting during the spring session.