Border town cites liquor consumption by Navajos as big issue

The city of Farmington, New Mexico, says liquor consumption by residents of the Navajo Nation is one of the top concerns facing the next police chief.

The official hiring document for the police chief lists four main challenges. The first one is liquor.

"Much of the surrounding region is 'dry' -- including the nearby reservation -- and, as a result, people come to Farmington to purchase alcohol," the document states. "Hence, drunk driving and public intoxication occur fairly frequently."

The inclusion of the statement is drawing complaints. Leonard Gorman, the executive director of the Navajo Human Rights Commission, said the city is being insensitive to the positive contributions coming from the reservation.

"Not one border town, city has raised a complaint about how Navajos provide a substantial increase to a border town's retail economy," Gorman told The Farmington Daily Times. "Based on the way the document is written ... they (Navajos) are the ones who are creating problems."

Gorman said the tribe should have a role in the hiring of the next police chief.

Get the Story:
City of Farmington documents say Navajos buying alcohol among next police chief's biggest challenges (The Farmington Daily-Times 11/8)

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