A Tohono O'odham Nation officer who died in the line of duty last August was honored at the Tribal Law Enforcement Memorial in Artesia, New Mexico, Thursday.
Eight tribal law enforcement officers were virtually honored in the ceremony this year broadcast by KSVP-TV. Among those memorialized at the Bureau of Indian Affairs U.S Indian Police Academy was Tohono O'odham Nation Officer Bryan Brown who died August 27, 2020.
Brown served the Tohono O'odham Nation for 19 years. During a report of an armed and erratic driver, a man ran Brown over with a vehicle near the Desert Diamond Why Casino.
Now there are 127 officers memorialized at the academy who have died in the line of duty.
Among those honored were Officer David Kellywood from the White Mountain Apache Police Department, and two officers, Gordon James and Michael Lee, from the Navajo Nation.
Sycuan Tribal Police Chief Bill Dinke said all law enforcement is inherently dangerous, but he argues being an officer in tribal lands increases the risk.
"Often because the resources aren't the same, sometimes inferior equipment, their cover officer can be 30-40 minutes away, yet they still do it. They honorably serve the people they were sworn to protect," Dinke said.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs U.S. Indian Police Academy and memorial was first located in Marana in 1992.