Colorado Department of Public Safety Hires Director of New State Office of Liaison For Missing or Murdered Indigenous Relatives

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(Nov. 30, 2022) -- After a robust, nationwide search with input from Colorado Indigenous stakeholders, the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) is pleased to announce that the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice has hired Arron Julian to be the director of the newly formed Office of Liaison for Missing or Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR).  

Established through Senate Bill 22-150, the new director will serve as a liaison to the Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities in Colorado on issues related to missing or murdered Indigenous relatives. The bill identified several partner agencies that the office will collaborate with to bring justice to the victims and their families, including the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs; federally recognized Tribes; state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI); and Indigenous-led organizations.

“We recognize how critical the leadership of this brand new office will be, and we wanted to find someone with deep connections with Indigenous communities as well as extensive experience with law enforcement, criminal justice, fostering collaboration, and leading teams. With help from our stakeholder community, we believe that we have found that person in Arron Julian,” said CDPS Executive Director Stan Hilkey.  “Arron joins the department with tremendous credentials and a list of positive recommendations that are too many to list.”

Arron Julian has over 36 years of experience in law enforcement, including serving as  the Chief of Police for the Bishop Paiute Tribe. He is a member of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe in Northern New Mexico and served in a leadership role for the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Nation.  He was the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator for the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation, where he helped develop policies and procedures for evidence collection and enhancing service delivery to reduce the impact on sexual assault victims when they presented at the hospital.  In addition to this and other Tribal work, he served as operations manager for the US Embassy Security Force in Baghdad as a Civilian Contractor with the State Department. His leadership experience includes overseeing a security force of some 6,000 members from five different countries.

“Arron’s reputation is as one who can bring law enforcement and community from Tribal, county, state, and federal agencies together around a common purpose,” said DCJ Director Joe Thome. “I’m confident that Arron's passion for justice on behalf of Indigenous populations and his experience working to bring closure to MMIR cases will drive a powerful and positive start to this new program.”

“We are grateful to have found a director who has many years of relevant professional experience and who understands the importance of this work, being from the Indigenous community and working to solve MMIR cases,” said Kathryn Redhorse, Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and a participant in the hiring process for the position. “We’re eager to get started with this work building partnerships and expanding trust through a multi-jurisdictional, community-focused program.”

“I am so excited to join the State of Colorado in this expanded new effort to ensure no stone is left unturned when an Indigenous person goes missing or is murdered. I hope to be a successful voice, advocate, and problem-solver for Indigenous people and I look forward to helping strengthen the relationship between local Tribes, Native community members across Colorado and law enforcement. I want us to all work hand in hand as one great Colorado Community! ” Mr. Julian said.

Mr. Julian’s first day was November 21, 2022.

Headshot of Arron Julian a native american man with glasses wearing a suit and tie