Police Officer Dean Martin James

Police Officer Dean Martin James

United States Department of the Interior - Bureau of Indian Affairs - Office of Justice Services, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, September 17, 1988

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Dean Martin James

Police Officer Dean James was shot and killed when he attempted to arrest a suspect who had escaped from the Hopi Tribal Jail the previous day.

Officer James was en route to work when he observed the escapee hitchhiking along the highway. When Officer James exited his vehicle the man opened fire with a .22 caliber rifle. Despite being mortally wounded, Officer James was able to return fire and shot the man several times, wounding him.

The man was arrested at the scene. He was convicted of Officer James' murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Officer James was assigned to the Hopi Tribal Police in Arizona and had served with the agency for four years. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and daughter.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 809

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Arizona
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 25 years

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

It’s Oct 8th.. Haven't reflected on my dads page for a bit, but this year is a lil harder for me.. I have gone through some medical hardships as well as trying to raise 2 teenagers during the Covid pandemic, as you all are. If I haven’t thanked you all personally, do not think that I left you out! I read all messages and am so very thankful that I have my LE family always on top of things reminding us of how much we contributed and still do as survivors to our loved ones who are gone but never forgotten! Words keep us survivors strong and let us know that someone is out there to support..
Sadly, I have to say, there is no longer a BIA Law Enforcement Services on my reservation with whom my dad worked for and gave his life for.. They have since demolished the Hopi Jail and have transferred services to the Hopi Tribal Police. There have been no efforts to reach out to our family for support as we have had held memorial runs at the Hopi Police Dept for a few years. I don’t understand how you can not come out and support one of your own who gave their life!!

Denelle James

October 8, 2020

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