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Coconino County; On Thursday, May 1, 2014 at about 3:00 pm all of the phone land lines servicing the Arizona side of the Navajo Nation went out of service. For approximately 20 hours, Coconino Sheriff/Flagstaff Police Dispatchers provided relay information to the Navajo Department of Public Safety via cell phones and the Sheriff’s Office vehicle radio system.
The information about an issue with the phone lines on the Navajo Nation came to light to Coconino Sheriff/Flagstaff Police Dispatchers at about 3:30 pm when the Flagstaff Police Department Regional 911 Center received a 911 call from a citizen on the Navajo Nation who was reporting a shooting. Immediately dispatchers attempted to contact the dispatch center in Tuba City and learned the line was not functioning. They attempted to contact the Navajo Police Department by calling several of their land lines and learned that they were all down.
Shortly after the first call, Coconino/Flagstaff Dispatchers received a 911 call from another citizen of the Navajo Nation reporting a domestic violence incident in Cameron. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to that call. Deputies were able to contact a Navajo Department of Public Safety Officer by calling him on his cell phone and he also responded to the incident in Cameron.
Sheriff’s Office personnel established cell phone contact with Navajo Nation Public Safety Dispatchers at several of their dispatch centers on the Arizona side of the Navajo Nation and were able to relay calls for service to them. During the remainder of Thursday through Friday morning, Coconino Sheriff/Flagstaff Police Dispatchers were able to assist by relaying some 18 calls for service from citizens on the Navajo Nation to the appropriate dispatch centers in Tuba City and Dilkon, AZ.
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Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089