- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - A Farmington, New Mexico, police officer has been chosen as the Navajo Nation’s police chief, following a lengthy hiring process.

The tribe Wednesday announced the selection of 40-year-old Phillip Francisco, now a Farmington Police Department patrol and training officer.

The tribe’s last police chief, Jim Benally, stepped down in 2008 amid political turmoil. Various officers have overseen the department temporarily since.

Francisco’s law enforcement career also includes stints with the Aztec Police Department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

The tribe initially limited the position to its members, but tribal spokesman Mihio Manus in January said the restriction was lifted because it was a struggle to find qualified applicants.

Manus says Francisco is half Navajo.

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This story has been corrected to identify where Francisco, not Benally, worked previously.

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