WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced on Thursday, Sept. 30 that Darren A. Cruzan has been named as Deputy Bureau Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS). Cruzan, an enrolled member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, comes to the position from the Department of Defense, Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA). The appointment became effective on September 27, 2010.
“I am pleased that Mr. Cruzan has accepted this challenging opportunity to lead the BIA’s Office of Justice Services,” Echo Hawk said. “His knowledge and experience in law enforcement and time at the Pentagon make him a strong member of my team.”
“Mr. Cruzan will be a crucial addition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs senior executive ranks,” said BIA Director Michael S. Black. “He has experienced law enforcement at all levels within Indian Country and brings with a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position.”
Cruzan brings a wide range of experience to OJS, beginning as a patrolman 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 Supervisory Police Officer 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, detention and telecommunications officers working in Indian Country.
In 2001, Cruzan was promoted to Criminal Investigator 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 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 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 as the detail leader on dignitary protection missions for senior level DoD officials, both within the continental United States, and overseas. His overseas missions included assignments into Iraq, Beirut, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Belgium, The Czech Republic, The United Kingdom, Austria and Japan. Most recently, Cruzan was appointed by the Director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as Division Chief of the agency’s Recruitment and Medical Division.
“I am honored to be rejoining the OJS and to lead this group of dedicated women and men serving Indian country.” Cruzan said. “Because of the many challenges currently faced in Indian Country, it is with a sense of urgency that we will move forward with creative, innovative and meaningful initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for our tribal communities.” Cruzan said, “The recently signed Tribal Law and Order Act affords us the unique opportunity to improve law enforcement services in Indian Country and promotes positive changes in the way we serve and protect our people.”
Cruzan is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA), Class 224 (2006). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Mountain State University, W.Va.
Darren and his wife and their two daughters, live in the D.C. area.