OJS Director's Corner
Darren A. Cruzan
“I have appointed a police, whose duty it is to report to me if they know of anything that is wrong.”
With those words, in 1869 Thomas Lightfoot, United States Indian Agent to the Iowa and the Sac and Fox tribes in Nebraska, became the first agent to report to a Federally-sponsored Indian police agency and thus, our very humble beginning. Since that time, our tactics and equipment have changed a great deal, but our commitment to serving our communities has remained strong.
Our mission is to provide justice services and technical assistance to federally recognized Indian tribes and communities, and to respect and protect sovereignty through promotion of self-determination.
On behalf of the men and women of the Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services, I would like to welcome you to our recently updated web page. We believe this site will provide answers to many of your questions about the services we provide to our Indian Country communities.
I appreciate your interest in the BIA Office of Justice Services and it is my hope that through this web site you come to know your public servants a little better, and see the exceptional level of dedication to duty BIA Office of Justice Services employees provide.
Truly, the honor is to serve.
Darren A. Cruzan, an enrolled member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma was appointed Director of the BIA Office of Justice Services on September 27, 2010.
Director Cruzan brings a wide range of law enforcement experience to OJS, beginning in 1992 with the Joplin Police Department in Joplin, Mo. He served as a tribal police officer with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, until 1995, when he was hired by the BIA and assigned to the District II OJS Office in the Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office in Muskogee, Okla.
In 1998, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the United States Indian Police Academy (IPA), located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia, N.M. There he provided law enforcement training to newly hired police, corrections and telecommunications officers working throughout Indian Country.
In 2001, Cruzan was promoted to Special Agent and assigned to the BIA’s Field Office in Portland, Ore., where he performed federal criminal investigations and provided technical law enforcement assistance to the Indian tribes located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
Cruzan’s next promotion was as the Supervisory Special Agent (Chief of Police) at the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. It was at this time that his department was honored by the Secretary of the Interior with the "Customer Service Excellence Award" (2004). The award details the recipient as “a hero of citizen centered service, a champion of government excellence, and an ambassador of creative partnerships.” Cruzan’s department was pivotal in reducing the number of driving under the Influence (DUI) related fatalities on the Crow Indian Reservation.
In 2004, Cruzan was asked to serve as the Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to the BIA’s Associate Director of Operations in Washington, D.C. Cruzan also served as the Indian Country Law Enforcement liaison to the Department of the Interior.
In 2006, Cruzan joined the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Investigative and Protective Directorate. While there, Cruzan supervised the day-to-day operations of the agency’s Criminal Investigations Division. He also served on numereous dignitary protection missions for senior level Department of Defense officials, both within the continental United States, and overseas.
Director Cruzan is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA), Class 224 (2006), and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Mountain State University.
Darren, Christina (his wife of 19 years) and their two daughters, live in the Washington, D.C. area.