The Fort McDowell Yavapai community was created by Executive Order on September 15, 1903. Initially the U.S. Cavalry provided some policing, but during this era most tribes informally policed themselves.
During the middle of the century Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Contract Officers began providing police services in Fort McDowell. Because Fort McDowell was a fairly small community, the BIA officers would come from other reservations.
In the early 1970’s, the BIA established its first police station in Fort McDowell. The BIA officers provided police services until the early 1980s, when the first Tribal Officers began patrolling the reservation. Due to funding issues, the Tribal Officers lasted only a short period of time before the tribe went back to the BIA for police protection. In the early 1990s, the tribe again began using a few tribal officers to supplement the minimal coverage offered by the BIA officers.
Fort McDowell Police Department Established In 1997
In 1997 the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation established our very own Police Department. Using some profits from the Fort McDowell Casino, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation started funding public safety. In May 1997, the Nation conducted a mass hiring of police officers. The Police Department started with 23 sworn Arizona POST certified officers to provide continuous, pro-active community policing coverage.
At first, this was a shock to a community used to seeing only 1 or 2 officers in a 24-hour period. However, it didn’t take long for our community to accept the new officers because they were dedicated to making the community a safer place and improving the quality of life within the Nation.
Currently the department has a budgeted strength of 23 sworn personnel. Our main focus continues to be keeping the community safe and improving the quality of life for all residents. To help us do that we stay actively involved with the Nation and partner with its various departments.
A New Home in 2007
A new Public Safety Building was built for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in 2007. The new building consolidated a number of departments, including the Police and Fire Department, Prosecutor’s Office, Probation Office and the Fort McDowell Tribal Court to allow for better cooperation and communication in a “one-stop shop”. Limited detention services are also available at the building.
“We are a model Native American Community that is self-determining through community involvement and effective organization committed to preserving its land, language, history, traditions and instilling core values in its youth through cultural enrichment and quality education while creating an exciting and dynamic future through economic development and healthy lifestyles that helps its people achieve their full potential as balanced and productive human beings.”
In emergency situations always call 9-1-1. For other police related matters call the Fort McDowell Police Department at 480-837-1091.