Letter: Benjamin best choice to serve communityy

From: David J. Rogers

Winchester, Idaho

I am chief of police for the Nez Perce Tribal Police in the state of Idaho. I do not hesitate to recommend Kelly Benjamin to be your next circuit court judge of Bartholomew County. Kelly has all of the qualifications for the position. Above all, she has true integrity, honesty and caring. I cannot think of a better person to serve your community.

For 15 years I managed the national Indian Country Training Initiatives for the office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) headquartered in Washington, D.C. I also worked with Western Community Policing Institute, Oregon, and the National Criminal Justice Center for Innovation, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin office.

During my time with COPS, I was asked if I would be willing to combine my Indian Country training with the domestic violence training of Kelly Benjamin, whom I had not yet heard of nor had met. But when Kelly and I co-presented at the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, I realized what an incredible and exceptional person she is. She was able to present on a delicate topic to a culturally different audience that was as skeptical as I was. She succeeded as very few people have in this Indian Country training.

I immediately wanted to start working with her, and our training partnership led us to present at national conferences and tribal communities on domestic violence and child abuse issues. Kelly presented at the National Indian Youth Police Academy and the National Tribal Probation Academy. Her humble approach to providing training and instruction to Native American audiences was so readily accepted that she quickly became a favorite in our programs.

Although Indian Country is a challenging place to work, Kelly was able to do so easily with grace, class, understanding and empathy. I consider Kelly a close friend to this day, and I wish we were still training together. I cannot think of a better person to be your community’s next circuit court judge.