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Public Safety

  • Top cop search
  • Floods wreak havoc on LA; Roads reopened

    Overnight rains continued to soak the area and residents woke up this morning to substantial flooding in various areas throughout Los Alamos.

    “If you don’t have to go anywhere, then I recommend you stay off the roads until further notice,” said Preston Ballew, the public information officer for the Los Alamos Police Department.

    Ballew is reporting that nearly all the major roads leading in and out of Los Alamos were closed for a couple of hours, due to rock slides and flooding. Ballew said all roads were open as of 11 a.m.

    The National Weather Service has reported a mudslide occurred at 9:07 a.m. near the Totavi gas station toward the bottom of the hill.  Driving up N.M. 502 toward Los Alamos, there was a sign, warning commuters that there was debris in the road.

    The road was passable but there also were two accidents that the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department was tending to.

    Ballew, meanwhile, added that his resources are “spread very thin right now, with flooding reported in sections of the Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as residential areas, such as areas of Quemazon near Esperanza and Sol.

    Los Alamos County provided the following update.

  • Chief prospects discuss careers

    Fifth and final in a series

    Police chief candidate Dino Sgambellone, 44, is adept at running a complex department with a severely restricted budget. He sees Los Alamos County’s fiscal situation as a much smaller challenge than what he has faced as chief of police for the City of Mansfield, Ohio, since 2010.

    “I would be coming from a community that is in fiscal emergency, and we don’t have a lot of resources. It’s challenging, and I’ve gotten great experience, but I’m eligible to retire from there, and it’s just time for the next chapter,” Sgambellone said.

    Sgambellone has succeeded in reducing crime rates despite being at 70 percent of his authorized sworn strength and 46 percent of his authorized non-sworn strength. He came in more than two percent under budget in 2011 and 2012.

    Despite budget limitations, Sgambellone said the department is complex and includes a state-of-the-art nationally accredited crime lab.

    “I would put our crime lab up against any big city,” Sgambellone said.

  • Traffic mess on N.M. 502

    Traffic came to a standstill eastbound on N.M. 502 Wednesday afternoon as police responded to two separate one-car accidents that occurred within minutes of each other. Traffic was backed up for about an hour as Los Alamos Police and Fire Department provided support and the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department investigated. Vehicles involved included a Ford station wagon and a Toyota truck. Police say that speed on a wet road was likely a factor in the accidents. There were no reported injuries

  • Police Beat 09-10-13

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.
    Aug. 29

    2:22 p.m. — Brandon May, 22, of Albuquerque was arrested based on a magistrate court bench warrant in the 200 block of Cornell Dr. in Albuquerque.

    6:05 p.m. — Edwin Theodore, 23, of Los Alamos was arrested on a municipal court warrant in the 2300 block of Trinity Drive.

    Aug. 30

    5:10 p.m. — Angelique Cordova, 19, of Española was arrested through a district court warrant.

    7:01 p.m. — A 61-year-old man, a resident of Royal Crest, reported to police that he was the victim of criminal trespass at East Jemez Road.

    9:46 p.m. — A 19-year-old woman on Canyon Road reported to police that she was the victim of battery against a household member.

    11:11 p.m. — Douglas Moody, 36, of Los Alamos was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant in the 3000 block of Trinity Drive.
    Aug. 31

  • Chief prospects discuss careers

    Third in a series
    Police chief candidate Bill Press, 61, emphasizes the maturity his training and experience has given him.

    “I have 39 years of policing experience. I have four degrees–that includes a doctorate, and I have over 3,600 hours of police training,” Press said. “I think collectively that has brought me to a certain maturity level that will allow me to negotiate in between all the obstacles that I might face to produce a more efficient, more effective police department, where people want to come to work and where people admire their officers.”

    Press has been police chief of the City of Fairhope, Ala., since 2009. He spent 29 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, working his way up from officer to executive officer (the highest civil service classification of police captain).

  • Flash Flood Watch continues through midnight

    FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MDT TONIGHT...

    THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

    * A PORTION OF NORTH AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO... INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS... ALBUQUERQUE METRO AREA... CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... EAST SLOPES SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS... EASTERN SAN MIGUEL COUNTY... ESTANCIA VALLEY... FAR NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS... FAR NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... GUADALUPE COUNTY... HARDING COUNTY... JEMEZ MOUNTAINS... LOWER CHAMA RIVER VALLEY... LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY... NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS... NORTHERN SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9500 FEET/RED RIVER... NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... RATON RIDGE/JOHNSON MESA... SAN FRANCISCO RIVER VALLEY... SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS... SANDIA/MANZANO MOUNTAINS... SANTA FE METRO AREA... SOUTH CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS... SOUTHERN SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9500 FEET... SOUTHWEST MOUNTAINS... UNION COUNTY... UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY... UPPER TULAROSA VALLEY... WEST CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND WEST SLOPES SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS.

    * UNTIL MIDNIGHT MDT TONIGHT

  • Monsoonal resurgence sets up wet work week ahead

    The National Weather Service has issued the following special weather statement:

    IMPRESSIVE LATE SEASON MONSOONAL SURGE FOR MUCH OF THE WORK WEEK...

    HIGH PRESSURE HAS SHIFTED EAST OF NEW MEXICO WHILE A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS DEVELOPING TO OUR WEST. THIS WILL SET UP A SIGNIFICANT SURGE OF MOISTURE INTO WESTERN AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO FROM MONDAY THROUGH AT LEAST WEDNESDAY... AND PROBABLY LONGER.

    DEEP MOISTURE WILL WORK ITS WAY NORTH FROM MEXICO AND EAST FROM ARIZONA STARTING MONDAY IN THE FAR WEST... THEN MAKING ITS WAY EAST ACROSS WESTERN INTO CENTRAL NEW MEXICO TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. THESE TWO DAYS LOOK TO BE THE WETTEST... WITH THE MOST COVERAGE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AND HIGHEST POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN.

    ALONG WITH THE HEAVY RAIN WILL COME THE THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING... ESPECIALLY FOR SOME OF THE BURN SCAR AREAS. THE WHITEWATER BALDY BURN SCAR WILL BE A PARTICULAR CONCERN MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY. RAINFALL RATES UP TO TWO INCHES AN HOUR WILL BE LIKELY OVER THE WESTERN HALF OF THE STATE.

    MODELS DIFFER ON HOW LONG THE MOISTURE PLUME REMAINS OVER THE STATE. WHILE THE COVERAGE MAY DIMINISH SOME LATER IN THE WEEK THERE WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO BE A RISK FOR ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAIN AND FLASH FLOODING CONCERNS.

  • Chief prospects discuss careers

    Second of a series

    Police chief candidate Donnie Perry, 56, places a strong emphasis on community, and has done his research into what that means in Los Alamos.

    “I’ve been impressed with the research I’ve done about the organization, the community,” Perry said. “I haven’t found anything negative about it at all.”

    That is not to say that Perry is unaware of recent shakeups in the department.

    “Of course, all communities are going to have their crime situations, and will have personnel problems, but those are situations that I think can be addressed rapidly with collaborations and partnerships and teaming with other agencies,” Perry said.

    Perry believes his teaching skills would be an important asset in restructuring the department. Perry has been an affiliate professor at Regis University since 2008. He also helped to develop, coordinate and implement a training curriculum for community based policing for the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute.

    As a lieutenant in the City of Greenwood Village, Colo., police department, Perry redefined training and performance standards.

  • Accident on Trinity

    A firefighter tends to a child who was a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in a three-car accident on Trinity Drive around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Two cars, a white Honda Civic and a Silver Mazda 3 were traveling in the eastbound lane. Behind them both was a black Ford Fusion sedan. The Honda was rear-ended by the Mazda and the Mazda was rear ended by the Ford. So far only the driver in the Ford, who also had two young children with her at the time, was cited. At press time, police did not release details in terms of the citation that was issued. Also, one person involved in the accident was taken to Los Alamos Medical Center for injuries. Police declined to say which car they were in or give an identity. The extent of their injuries is not known.