Today marks the 23rd Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service, an event that takes place at the Bureau of Indian Police Academy in Artesia, New Mexico to honor the memories of those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
This year Michael S. Black, BIA director, will deliver the keynote address while being accompanied by BIA Office of Justice Services Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan.
The day’s service is a special honor for those tribal, state, local and federal law enforcement officers that worked on federal Indian lands and in tribal communities who gave their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony is also an occasion for formally announcing the names of officers who will be added to the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial monument at the academy. This year, two individuals will be added to the list of 101 already on it:
-- Alaska State Trooper and Village Public Safety Officer Thomas O. Madole who on March 19, 2013, succumbed to bullet wounds while handling an altercation incident in the community of Manokotak, Alaska.
-- Sergeant Robert W. Baron of the Sandoval County, N.M., Sheriff’s Office who on December 6, 2013, succumbed to injuries he sustained the previous day after being struck by a vehicle on Interstate 25 near the Pueblo of San Felipe.
According to a Department of the Interior press release, the “OJS holds the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service in conjunction with other law enforcement organizations and agencies, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police Indian Country Law Enforcement Section, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia. The FLETC campus is home to the memorial, service and academy.”
First Dedicated on May 7, 1992, the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at the BIA Indian Police Academy then in Marana, Arizona was later moved to its present site and re-dedicated on May 6, 1993.
Based on indigenous design concepts and reflecting a spiritual significance to many tribes, the memorial is comprised of three granite markers within a circular walkway lined with sage, and four planters filled with foliage in colors representing people of all nations. Each planter represents one of the four directions.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. (MDT) and can be live-streamed here with the password “biamemorial.”