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Published On: Mon, Feb 18th, 2013

New jails, but low staff

Crownpoint, N.M, the new Justice Center in Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation. Photo by Chris Burnside.

TUBA CITY – An awkward start for the new law enforcement facility in the Western Agency of the Navajo reservation.

The new four story justice facility in Tuba City still does not have the sufficient funding to hire new staff. Erny Zah, communications director for the President told the Associated Press, they weren’t given enough time to see who would manned the new facility.

The kick off event was held in Tuba City on Friday, about 500 people attended the event.

In Crownpoint, N.M. the Eastern Agency Justice center is expected to open in March. Another in Kayenta is expected to be fully operational in 2014. Chinle will also begin construction next month, said Erny Zah, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation.

“Today is a great day for the Navajo Nation. We are beginning a new era of public safety on the Navajo Nation,” said the Navajo President Ben Shelly.

Zah, said the Tuba City facility cost $62 million to build and is a 134,429 square feet facility that will house Navajo district courts, peacemakers courts, law enforcement, prosecutors and is a corrections facility.

In the past, the Navajo Nation has struggled to build new detention centers to house criminal and civil detainees. The Navajo Nation was able to secure $74 million from The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

“Today we are taking a huge step for our future because along with the judicial part of this complex, we have an area for our young Navajo people who need extra guidance,” said Shelly.

The Navajo Department of Public Safety said they will need about 90 people to fully run the new jail in Western Agency.

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Displaying 6 Comments
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  1. Im glad for the new jail, despite negative opposition. I hope security measures are both adjusted to fit the upgraded facilities.

  2. Alex Lester says:

    Go Tuba City, make it work…. Learn how to make that four story justice facility WORK.

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New jails, but low staff