Officer Justin Keeling is the first Cocopah Tribal Police Officer in the department’s history to win this award.
Almost three months to the day he saved a Cocopah Tribal woman’s life, veteran police officer Justin Keeling will be presented with an award in Phoenix.
“I just honestly feel like I was doing my job, I was doing what anyone would have done,” said Keeling. “It (the award) was a nice surprise.”
Shortly before 7 p.m. on Sept. 6, Keeling was dispatched to a home on the West Reservation where he discovered a woman who was unresponsive and not breathing. Keeling started Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and continued to do so until she regained consciousness. Medics from the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department arrived at the scene and rushed her to the hospital.
“Officer Keeling’s dedication, devotion to duty and his actions bring great credit upon himself and the Cocopah Tribal Police Department,” wrote Acting Administration Lt. Martin Grosvenor Jr.
Keeling, 30, joined the Cocopah Tribal Police Department in 2008. A Yuma native, Keeling graduated from Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2007. During his time with the Cocopah Tribal Police Department, Keeling has worked as a canine officer and is a certified instructor. In addition to his daily police duties, Keeling is the lead officer for the department’s cadet program which is designed to engage tribal youth and teach them life skills through hands-on activities.
The Indian Country Intelligence Network (ICIN) will present Keeling with its “Life Saving Award” on Tuesday at its annual awards ceremony at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. created ICIN in 1994 to serve as a state-wide collaborative partnership among all 21 Indian Tribes. Its mission is to improve communication, provide training, affect positive changes and strengthen relationships with neighboring jurisdictions, according to the ITCA website.
ICIN is comprised of law enforcement executives from Tribal Law Enforcement and Correction Agencies as well as representatives from BIA, FBI, United States Attorney’s Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety and State and Municipal agencies throughout Arizona, according to ITCA.