By L. Parsons
Winslow Police Chief Dan Brown has stated from the beginning of his time in Winslow that transparency and communication are key in a successful police force. That sentiment was continued when he addressed the community at Good Morning Winslow last week to publicize his plans to build a citizen liaison committee to work hand in hand with the Winslow Police Department.
“When I got here we had some community organizations such as the NAACP and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Committee saying, ‘You should really have a citizens committee,’” Brown noted. He then reached out to Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway to begin a plan to build the liaison program.
According to Brown, Flagstaff is one of only seven or eight policing agencies that host a liaison program in Arizona. “It’s not an oversight committee, you know, telling us how to do our jobs. It’s a transparency thing, if you will, so they work with us,” he explained.
Liaison is defined “communication or cooperation that facilitates a close working relationship between people or organizations,” therefore Brown said, “It is a good avenue for citizens to come to us and let us know their concerns.”
The committee is in its infancy, according to Brown, and this was the first time the community was informed of its existence. “We had an exploratory committee try to find out where we want to go and what our missions are. We will have another meeting next month with Chief Treadway, then we will roll this out to the public with application information if they would like to be a part of it,” he said.
In his years of law enforcement experience, Brown has never been a part of a citizen liaison group or anything like it. “I think that for Winslow and the police department, I think that it’s a really good direction to be moving in,” he commented.
Brown also announced the partnership with the Department of Public Safety and Holbrook Police Department for DUI enforcement along the Route 66 travel corridor. The first official enforcement night of the newly formed Route 66 DUI Task Force was held Sept. 29 and into the early morning hours of Sept. 30 during the Standin’ On The Corner Festival.
During that weekend, the task force made several arrests and multiple traffic stops. Brown reported, “We ended up having four DUIs that night, the average blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent, and the highest was 0.267 percent, which is really high.”
Other statistics from the weekend include: 45 traffic stops; 12 citations, including two for criminal speed; four distracted driver warnings; 12 arrests, including nine for misdemeanors or outstanding warrants; and one DUI related non-injury collision.
Brown said, “There is definitely a need out here for this kind of enforcement, but we are not making it a secret.” He explained that the task force does not plan to set up checkpoints, instead he wants the police presence known. “Just don’t drink and drive,” he said. “We will keep working with DPS, Holbrook and the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and make an impact in this region.”