The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of Navajo Police Sergeant Darrell Cervanez Curley. He was shot in the line of duty Saturday night while responding to a domestic dispute between two brothers in the small town of Kaibito just south of Page, Arizona, on the reservation.
Transported to a hospital in Page, Sgt. Curley, 48, died from the gunshot wounds early Sunday morning.
A spokesperson told PoliceOne.com that no suspects are at large but declined to say if they were arrested or may have also been shot. The FBI is assisting with the investigation.
Navajo Nation flags will be flown at half staff from June 27 to June 30 in honor of Curley, a 26-year veteran of the Navajo Police Department.
“He was well known throughout the Four Corners region of each state, as well as by his constituent’s throughout the Navajo Nation,” Colonel John Billison, executive director of the Navajo Division of Public Safety, said in a statement. “Sgt. Curley proudly served on behalf of not only his family, but for the tribe and he has done so with great dedication, honor integrity and respect for all. As all law enforcement officers across the United States of America, he proudly served and dedicated his life to uphold the laws and constitutional rights of each citizen, in which he swore to protect and to serve.”
Recruited by the Navajo Police Department in February 1986, Sgt. Curley was later transferred to the Tuba City District and promoted to Police Sergeant in 2003. His many achievements included certificates for 20 years of service, commitment and dedication; outstanding contribution toward the recovery efforts from the Navajo Nation, Federal Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Arizona Department of EMS; and commended by the Chinle Police District for his valued service and dedication.
Since 1979, five Navajo police officers have been fatally wounded by gunfire, according to Col. Billison. Before Sgt. Curley, the most recent death was Navajo police officer Samuel Anthony Redhouse in February 1997.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and Vice President Rex Lee Jim issued the following statement: “Vice President Jim and I are truly saddened to learn about the tragic loss of Sgt. Darrell Curley. We ask all Navajo citizens to join us in prayers for his wife Pauline and their three children, his parents and siblings, Officer Vernon Begay and his family. Sgt. Curley was one of our finest and a commendable police officer of the Navajo Nation, who had the experience and courage to serve and protect our citizens. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the Kaibeto community, Tuba City District and the Navajo Police Department. Every day police officers uphold the law to safeguard our life and property from harm. We appreciate and thank our Navajo police officers at all 7 police districts for their dedicated service and hard work.”
Currently, all seven Navajo Police Districts are accepting monetary donations on behalf Sgt. Curley’s family to help cover funeral expenses. Monetary donations can also be deposited at any nationwide Bank of the West location, under the Navajo Police Sergeant Darrell Curley Memorial Fund. All contributions will be accepted at police districts in Window Rock, Tuba City, Chinle, Kayenta and Dilkon, Arizona and Crownpoint and Shiprock, New Mexico. At this time, funeral arrangements are pending.
For more information about donations, contact Genevieve Jones, Senior Office Specialist, Navajo Division of Public Safety at (928) 871-6581, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.navajodps.org.