CHINLE, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say 19 cadets have completed a six-month police academy.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says the Friday graduation ceremony was held at the Chinle Community Center in Arizona.
"Our new officers are entering into a new world of challenges and opportunities. I challenge everyone to pray for our officers and first responders. They witness incidents that some of us cannot bear to see. They will need our endless support. Let’s work together and be there for them as a relative, neighbor, and friend,” Nez said.
The graduating class bolsters the ranks of the Navajo Nation Police Department, which has struggled in the past with an officer shortage.
The academy trains recruits in communications, firearms, state and federal law and Diné Fundamental Law.
This most recent graduating class is the academy's third in two years and the largest in that period.
The graduates from Friday's ceremony start their posts as officers immediately.