Shelly-Jim administration officials unveil modernized 911 strategic plan

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office

For Immediate Release

Shelly-Jim administration officials unveil modernized 911 strategic plan

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.–Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly congratulated his public safety team for the unveiling of Nation’s 911 Program Strategic Plan. He also commended the Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission's support for the division to move forward with creating, implementing and managing all non-regulatory aspects of the program. NDPS unveiled the plan before the NNTRC on August 22 at Twin Arrows Casino near Flagstaff, Ariz. 

“In developing this new policy, the Shelly-Jim administration is committed to advocating for the safety and well-being of the Navajo people. With this new plan, we’ll be able to respond to distress calls from citizens in a quicker and more efficient manner,” President Shelly said.

Additional support for the plan came from members of the public, the Nation’s communications providers and its commercial partners, as well as the State of Arizona.

The 911 Tiger Team, lead by the NDPS is responsible for management and oversight of all aspects of the 911 Program. The team explained the technological and service requirements essential to creating and managing a successful and adaptable 911 service.

Sgt. Shirley Sanisya outlined the current 911 system inefficiencies including the lack of trained personnel, basic technology and automation constraints, and the need for dedicated funding. Teresa Richardson, director of marketing and sales for 4QTRS underscored the need to select and utilize the best technological solution that will serve the Nation’s 911 needs. 

There are currently 175,000 people residing within the 27,000 square miles of the Navajo Nation, who at any given time may be in need of emergency services - absent a 911 framework on the Navajo Nation, there is not easy access to emergency services.

With 60 percent of homes lacking landlines and only 53 percent wireless coverage nationwide there is a need to improve the existing public safety communications system.

Tiger Team leader Leonard Redhorse said the NDPS is the best organization to manage the 911 Program. “NDPS possesses the in-house expertise to design, implement and manage a new 911 Emergency Response System that will not only have the capabilities to identify the caller, but will also provide GPS location information even when the caller cannot,“ Redhorse added.

NDPS director John Billison is pleased for the support of the NNTRC. “In the past, the 911 emergency system was shrouded in misinformation. NDPS’s Strategic Plan removes the mystery and clearly sets forth, in a highly executable plan, the components, technology, and human resources needed to train, educate, and manage all aspects of a successful and adaptable 911 emergency system,” Billison said.  

Billison also commended the 911 Program Tiger Team for their skill and determination in creating an emergency response program that will service the needs of the Nation.

Updates relating to the progress of the 911 Program will be made available throughout the next 30 days. Questions, comments and requests for additional information about this program may be made directly to the NDPS 911 Tiger Team Leader, Leonard Redhorse at


The 911 Tiger Team, lead by NDPS is responsible for management and oversight of all aspects of the 911 Program. Over the past four months the NDPS 911 Tiger Team has identified and developed operational parameters for the three tasks contained in the initial phase of the 911 Program. The three tasks to be undertaken are: Task 1, which will evaluate the existing 911 capabilities and services of the Nation; Task 2, which will address the creation of a service plan based on the findings in Task 1 and a technical assessment of the existing capabilities of our commercial carriers; and Task 3, which will be the selection of a 911 system. All regulatory aspects of the 911 Program will be the responsibility of NNTRC.





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