Police chief: Right-of-way enforcement went ‘smoothly’


The push to keep this year’s 72nd annual Navajo Nation Fair safe for everyone went “smoothly.”

That’s according to Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco on Monday.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
A young girl tosses a handful of candy towards the crowd Sept. 9, 2017, during the 71st annual Navajo Nation Fair parade.

“There were no issues, no injuries, no major incidents,” the police chief said, while speaking of his officers enforcing the right-of-way traffic laws along State Highway 264.

Although it has always been against the law, police for the first time kept drivers from illegally parking on the sidewalk throughout the fair, except for during the parade on Saturday morning.

“We all worked together very well, so it went pretty smoothly. They were fairly successful in keeping the vendors and people off the right-of-way,” Francisco said.

The chief said people attending the 107th annual Northern Navajo Fair, which will be held from Oct. 4 through Oct. 7 in Shiprock, should expect the same type of right-of-way enforcement on U.S. Highway 491.

During the Northern Navajo Fair parade, the northbound lanes are shut down, while the southbound lanes kept open to keep traffic flowing, which Francisco said is why his officers will be enforcing the traffic laws.

“You’re not supposed to park on the sidewalk, in the right-of-way,” he said. “We’re going to have the same issues over there too, so we’re going to have the same kind of enforcement.”

During the Navajo Nation Fair, Navajo police and emergency personnel responded to 1,909 calls, 361 of which were public intoxication calls. The second highest number of calls were police enforcing traffic laws 147 times. A total of 105 calls were responses to gang-related disputes. Four-hundred fifty-threepeople were jailed at the Window Rock District Department of Corrections. More than three-quarters — 350 people — were jailed for public intoxication.

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