Published May 11, 2016
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA – On Monday, the Navajo Nation’s Law and Order Committee called for a report from the executive director of Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Jesse Delmar, regarding the implementation of an Amber Alert system on the Navajo Nation following the abduction and murder of an 11-year-old girl near the Shiprock community.
“The tragic incident of Ashlynne Mike should never have happened. I am aware that DPS has officers who were trained on the Amber Alert system, but we did not see any policy recommendations from the division.” stated LOC chair Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie (Chrchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau), who has requested a meeting between executive and legislative officials to coordinate the effort.
According to Delmar, the Ashlynne Mike case was handled “quite right” and DPS was “on top of the case,” adding that child abductions take time and resources to investigate.
“When the emergency call was made, the information was given to the New Mexico State Police, who issued an Amber Alert. The state of New Mexico had the authority to issue an alert. According to the Navajo police district personnel, everything was reasonable, and I am pretty satisfied with that,” added Delmar.
He further stated that President Russell Begaye has established a task force to finalize a strategic plan to implement the Amber Alert system on the Navajo Nation.
In a memorandum to President Begaye, Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) pointed out that the current New Mexico Amber Alert law outlines specific procedures to implement the system.
The law clearly states that an “authorized requestor” may declare an Amber Alert when the requester, who could be an individual within NNDPS, has reason to believe an abduction has occurred.
LOC member Council Delegate Jonathan Perry (Becenti, Crownpoint, Huerfano, Lake Valley, Nageezi, Nahodishgish, Tse’ii’ahi, Whiterock) expressed that the Navajo Nation needs to work efficiently and not make the situation more complicated than it should be.
“Our leaders and departments effected by the incident should work together on the same page. No one should use this as a political platform to get attention. We need to ensure the safety of our children immediately,” stated Delegate Perry.
The Law and Order Committee approved the report by a 3-0 vote.
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