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Public Safety

  • Top public safety stories of 2013

    The Los Alamos Monitor looks at the top public safety stories of 2013 in no particular order.
    Thompson Ridge Fire
    For residents living in the bucolic Jemez Mountains, June turned out to be a pretty exciting month as a small wildfire quickly got out of hand. The fire, which officials dubbed the “Thompson Ridge Fire,” started when a downed power line ignited some brush on Elk Trail. The fire spread to 25,000 acres, coming within yards of the Forest Service’s headquarters in the Valles Caldera before it was stopped. No deaths, property damage or injuries were reported, but some neighborhoods were temporarily evacuated as firefighters struggled to get the fire under control.

  • LAFD rescue

    A 63-year-old White Rock woman was injured while hiking in Bandelier National Monument around 3 p.m. Monday, according to spokesperson Chris Judson. The woman, Judson said, was on the trail to the Alcove House past the Longhouse Bridge. Judson said the trail may have been icy. Los Alamos Fire Department transported the woman.

  • Hughes earns top award

    Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of “Chief Fire Officer.” The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on Dec. 3 to officially confer the designation upon Hughes. He is one of only 944 CFOs worldwide.
    The CPC awards the CFO designation only after an individual successfully meets all of the organization’s stringent criteria. The process includes an assessment of the applicant’s education, experience, professional development, technical competencies, contributions to the profession, and community involvement.
    In addition, all applicants are required to identify a future professional development plan. Hughes was also required to show he had a rich knowledge of the emergency services profession and had far surpassed critical core competencies for personnel serving in senior fire officer positions. The CFO designation program uses a comprehensive peer review model to evaluate candidates seeking the credential.
    Hughes has been the Fire Chief of the Los Alamos Fire Department since October 2011.
    He started his fire service career in 1985 with the Grand Island, Neb. Fire Department where he served nearly 27 years, with the last three years as their fire chief.

  • Police Beat 12-27-13

    Dec. 19

    3:29 p.m. — A 67-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police that she was the victim of burglary from vehicle or other structure at Bathtub Row.

    4:19 p.m. — A 21-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police that she was the victim of battery against a household member at Gold St.

    10:19 p.m. — Dawn Osborn, 36, of Santa Fe was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant at 39th Street/Diamond Drive.
    Dec. 20

    10:17 a.m. — A 39-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police that she was the victim of bites: impounding at Trinity Drive.

    4:18 p.m. — Isaiah Cisneros, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant at Trinity Drive.
    Dec. 21

    12:57 p.m. — John Ortiz, 54, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of DWI in the 3700 block of Arkansas Ave.

    1:04 p.m. — A 58-year-old White Rock man reported to police that he was the victim of battery at Connie Ave.

    5:00 p.m. — Victor Martinez, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of battery in the 400 block of Connie Ave.

    6:00 p.m. — Richard Martinez, 51, of Española was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant at 2500 Trinity Drive.
    Dec. 22

  • New chief looks to future

    It’s been a whirlwind two months for Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone. Ever since he accepted the job as police chief, the Mansfield, Ohio, native has been learning the ropes at the LAPD, while getting to know his new community at the same time.
    Though his family is far away in Ohio and won’t be able to join him until next month, Sgambellone said he’s adjusting as best he can to his new surroundings and is doing pretty good navigating the learning curve of his new job, familiarizing himself with the department’s budget and procedures while at the same time getting to know his staff and fellow police officers.
    “Anytime you transition to a new opportunity, there’s always challenges,” he said. “I think things are compounded when the move is 1,500 miles away. There’s been some delay in transition for my family, for example.” He added that his family should be coming out soon, in time for his children to start the next semester of school. He has a daughter who’s in the fifth grade and son, who is a junior in high school.
    “The decision to come here is reinforced every time I meet someone new in the community,” he said, adding that he is very impressed with department and the relations it has to LANL and to the community at large.

  • LAFD captain awarded scholarship

    Los Alamos Fire Captain Wendy Servey has been awarded a scholarship from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to attend the Tampa 2 Fire Safety Summit. The scholarship will provide Captain Servey with conference registration fees, airfare, and lodging, so that she may attend the summit from March 10-12, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.
     Servey was chosen from a field of more than 150 applicants. The scoring matrix for selection was determined via a 6000 character essay submission related to the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. Scholarship applicants were asked to explain in the essay to explain how they had utilized the life safety initiatives during their career and to explain their ideas for future expansion and development of the initiatives.
    When informed of the scholarship award, Fire Chief Troy Hughes stated, “We are very proud of Captain Servey. Her initiative to improve not only herself professionally, but to actively contribute to the betterment of LAFD as a whole has not gone unnoticed. She is truly an asset to the Los Alamos Fire Department.”

  • Former Roswell police chief dies

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Al Solis, Roswell’s former police chief and the state’s former interim secretary of the Department of Corrections, died Monday, Roswell officials confirmed. He was 65 and had been battling cancer.
    Roswell City Manager Larry Fry said officials were informed that Solis died in Las Cruces. “He was certainly a man of integrity and had a long, distinguished career in law enforcement,” Fry said.
    His death comes just a few months after Solis announced in July he was stepping down for health reasons. He said at the time that his cancer was contained but not going away.
    The longtime lawman came to Roswell as administrator to the Chaves County Detention Center and later became the department’s chief.
    He spent 21 years with the U.S. Marshals Service and served briefly as interim secretary of the Department of Corrections under Gov. Susana Martinez.

    In 2011 interview with The Associated Press, Solis said he was happy to help Martinez reshape the corrections department and get it ready for incoming Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel. “But police work is what I enjoy doing,” he said. “I really enjoy working to make communities safer.”

  • Vandals hit Pojoaque High School

    SANTA FE (AP) — Vandals smashed numerous glass doors and windows at a Santa Fe County high school, causing damage estimated at $10,000 to $25,000.
    The vandalism took place over the weekend at Pojoaque Valley High School.
    Security cameras captured what appeared to be two individuals using a bat to smash a row of windows.
    There was so much broken glass and bent steel that maintenance crews had to use small tractors to clear the rubble.
    Sheriff’s deputies say blood found at the scene indicates that one or both of the perpetrators might have cut themselves.
    Sheriff’s Lt. William Pacheco says DNA samples from the blood have been sent to the state crime lab.

  • Actor pleads no contest to DWI in Santa Fe

    SANTA FE (AP) — Actor Wes Studi has pleaded no contest to driving while intoxicated and was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence in Santa Fe.
    Studi entered the plea last week as part of a deal with prosecutors.
    He was placed on probation for a year, ordered to perform 24 hours of community service, to attend DWI school and a victim-impact panel and have an interlock system installed in his vehicle.
    The 67-year-old Santa Fe resident appeared in “Avatar,” ‘’Dances with Wolves” and “The Last of the Mohicans.”
    Police had found Studi trying to fix flat tires on a vehicle stopped in the middle of a road in July.
    A police officer’s report said Studi was loud and vulgar toward officers during his arrest.  

  • LAPD looking for burglary suspect

     The investigations unit of the Los Alamos Police Department is looking into a burglary at a high profile location that occurred Nov. 17.
    The incident occurred at 1925 Trinity Dr., the local Smart House project.
    A suspect was captured on several videos breaking into the house. The suspect in the burglary is described as white male in his late-20’s to his mid-30s, 5-feet-10 to 6-feet tall, with a medium build and weighing about 180-200 pounds.
     He has a buzzed haircut and light facial hair which is a light brown color. He wore a blue Carhartt jacket with hood, a grey Texas A&M shirt, blue jeans and a white hat.
    Anyone with information regarding the identification of the suspect is urged to contact Det. Daniel Roberts at 663-1819 or call dispatch at 662-8222 reference case 2013-1321.
    Police are offering a $100 reward to anyone who supplies information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
    Callers may remain anonymous.