Public Safety

  • Nearby burns scheduled for Monday

    Officials from the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Santa Fe National Forest are planning a pair of prescribed burns in the local area.
    Burns in the area could start as early as Monday, according to caldera and National Forest officials.
    At the VCNP, a burn will take place within about an 2,300-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district, near mile marker 30 off N.M. 4.
    The caldera burn will could take between 3-10 days to complete, depending on conditions.
    Meanwhile, starting early next week, the SFNF has plans for burns about 15 miles north of Los Alamos in a 2,500-acre treatment area, which is expected to take two or three days to complete. Additionally, another burn will take place in the Cuba Ranger District area, although that will be located in a smaller treatment area.
    All the planned burns will get rid of dead forest fuels and pre-cut limbs and other debris.
    For the burn at the VCNP, officials warn of possible traffic delays on N.M. 4, as well as for visibility issues for drivers.
    Both the caldera and the Santa Fe National Forest officials warn of potential health hazards to those with allergies, chemical sensitivities or cardiorespiratory issues.
    Smoke will likely be visible from the Los Alamos town site from both the burns at the caldera and in the Espanola Ranger District.

  • Fireman's Competition

    Los Alamos Fire Department firefighter David Apodaca participates in a competition at the training center in Los Alamos Monday.

  • Police Beat

    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.


    Sept. 28

    7:49 a.m. — Belamie Pick, 38, of Medanales was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos Police station. The original charge was fraud (more than $250, less than $20,000) at Trinity Drive.


    10:27 a.m. — Ashley Garcia, 22, of Medanales was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction at the Los Alamos Police station. 


    11:52 a.m. — Police reported that a 25-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of criminal sexual contact of a minor 13 to 18 year old at Trinity Drive.


    Sept. 29

  • 911 report: Crime down, pocket dials up

    The Los Alamos Police Department’s annual 2015 report contains a lot of information on the county’s crime.
    It also has a lot to say to residents about 911 calls.
    In 2015, 911 Dispatch received over 360 accidental calls from cell phones and about 747 abandoned 911 calls.
    While the numbers may not sound like much compared to the nearly 6,000 total calls received that year, every call must be checked out. That, according to the report, takes considerable time and manpower.
    “When a 911 call is abandoned, the dispatcher must call back the number and send an officer to confirm that everything is OK,” said a statement in the report telling residents to be mindful about making 911 calls.
    Accidental cell phone calls usually originate from a cell phone being loose in purses, pockets and backpacks, the report said.
    Toddlers playing with phones also triggered some of those 911 calls.
    “Locking your cell phone helps to prevent accidental 911 calls,” the report suggested.

  • Probate judge resigns

    By a 5–0 vote, the Los Alamos County Council accepted Probate Judge Bill McKerley’s resignation on Tuesday and took steps to fill the position through the end of the year.
    McKerley was appointed to the position on Feb. 16, after previous Probate Judge Christine Chandler resigned. He recently learned of changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct – instituted Dec. 31, 2015 – that prohibit part-time judges from engaging in political conduct such as fundraising and endorsing candidates.
    McKerley serves as chair of the Republican Party of Los Alamos County. After consulting with County Attorney Rebecca Ehler, he chose to keep that position and instead resign as probate judge. He tendered his resignation to council Chair Rick Reiss in a letter dated May 19.
    On Tuesday, McKerley apologized to council and the county’s citizens and offered to help with the transition in any way he could.
    “I just want to say thank you to the council for giving me the opportunity to serve. It was an honor,” McKerley said.
    McKerley also thanked the clerk’s office, which assists the probate judge.
    “They are an outstanding group of people. They serve selflessly, and the new probate judge coming in will be served very well with this outstanding group,” McKerley said.

  • Council moves process-serving to LAPD

    The Los Alamos County Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that transfers process-serving duties from the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Office to the Los Alamos Police Department.
    The principal job of a process server is to deliver or “serve” legal documents to a defendant or person involved in a court case.
    The sheriff will continue to monitor sex offenders as delegated by statute.
    The motion passed 4−1, with Councilor Pete Sheehey opposed. Councilors David Izraelevitz and James Chrobocinski were not present.
    Sheehey argued that the issue should be postponed until June 14, when Sheriff Marco Lucero, Izraelevitz and Chrobocinski could attend. He cited the short notice given for Tuesday’s item (it was posted with the agenda on Friday) and the fact that no operational or legal analysis has been done.
    “I make a motion to table this item until the next regularly scheduled meeting, June 14, when both this item and the previous related item regarding a charter amendment on the sheriff can be fully prepared by all the departments, the sheriff and others can be here to make their case,” Sheehey said.
    Council votes on a ballot issue to eliminate the sheriff’s office entirely on June 14.
    Sheehey’s motion failed for lack of a second.

  • Restaurant inspections 9-11-15

    Los Alamos
    Starbucks Coffee, 1801 Central Ave.
    Date Inspected: Aug. 25
    Violations: One low-risk violation. All boxes and napkins must be stored six inches off the floor. Violation was fixed at time of inspection.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Secret City Kitchen, 4110 Quemazon
    Date Inspected: Aug. 25
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    PHC – Los Alamos Medical Center, 3917 West Road
    Date Inspected: Aug. 27
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Refrigerator needs thermometer. Four moderate-risk violations. No hot holding available. Icemaker, Coke nozzle, hood and vents need cleaning. Spray bottle needed labeling and was corrected at time of inspection. Silverware needs to be inverted to avoid contamination, which was corrected at time of inspection. Three low-risk violations. Three-compartment sink need 2-inch gap between dishwasher and ice machine. Wall and floors behind equipment need cleaning. Sink needs sealing and caulking.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on Sept. 15.

    Quizno’s, 172 Central Park Square
    Date Inspected: Aug. 28

  • Police Beat 9-4-15

    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. 27

    7:58 a.m. — Javier Medrano-Duarte, 32, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a charge of concealing identity at the corner of Barranca Road and El Conejo.

    Aug. 28

    2:22 p.m. — A 59-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of an accident with injuries on San Ildefonso Road.

    4:36 p.m. — Koby Leeches, 18, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a charge of shoplifting (less than $100) at 751 Trinity Dr.

    Aug. 29

    1:30 p.m. — Melissa Gurule, 39, of Rio Rancho, was arrested on a Magistrate Court bench warrant at the Los Alamos police station.

    Aug. 30

    4 p.m. — Francisco Quintero, 27, of Hernandez, was arrested on a charge of unlawful use of a license on East Jemez Road.

    Aug. 31

    9:54 a.m. — A 56-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of an accident with no injuries on the corner of East Jemez Road and N.M. 4.

    Sept. 1

  • Fire department adds two vehicles to fleet

    The LAFD had a “push-in” ceremony at White Rock Station No. 3 for two new additions to its fleet.
    The LAFD pushed in two trucks, one designed to deal with emergencies involving hazardous materials within the county and the other an aerial ladder truck designed to put fires out in multi-level structures. One is named “Hazmat 1” and the other will be known as “Truck 3.”
    Hazmat 1 is manufactured by the E-ONE company. Known as a “toolbox on wheels,” the truck is designed with many top, side and bottom compartments for tools and equipment.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory has a similar truck. As part of a cooperative agreement with LANL, the Los Alamos Fire Department was required to have its own Hazmat truck, as well.
    As with all units within the LAFD fleet, the hazmat truck and the aerial ladder truck were purchased by the U.S. Department of Energy. The hazmat truck comes equipped with chemical and gas detection equipment, equipment to help dam and clean up spills, as well as different types of hazmat suits for the crew to designed to deal with any type of spill.
    According to LAFD Chief Troy Hughes, Hazmat One was designed to complement LANL’s own hazmat vehicle.

  • Police respond to 5 reports of violent crimes

    Los Alamos Police Department reported 30 larceny reports in the county in the second quarter of 2015.
    LAPD put out its second quarter crime statistics Thursday. According to the police, there were five violent crime reports — crimes involving homicide, rape, aggravated assault or aggravated burglary — in the second quarter of the year, a slight increase from this time last year.
    According to the police, offenses reported as crime statistics are determined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report Program. Offenses are classified as crimes against persons or crimes against property.
    LAPD responded to a total of 44 part one offense complaints between April and June, which was down by nearly half from the same period in 2014.
    Of the violent crimes, four of the five were classified as aggravated assault. There was one reported rape case in the county in the second quarter.
    While the larceny category — defined as the unlawful taking of goods from another person — was by far the most active category last quarter, there was also a significant drop in the total number, from 64 reported cases a year ago to 30 in 2015.
    It was also a slight drop from the first quarter of 2015, when 37 cases were reported to police.
    In 2014, there was a total of 80 part one crimes responded to by police.