PRESS RELEASE: Nationally recognized speakers to present in San Juan County, advocates for cell-free roads

Hang Up and DriveFarmington, NM –  Nationally recognized speakers, Jacy Good and Steve Johnson, are coming to San Juan County to share their story and encourage others to hang up and drive. A free public presentation will take place on April 3 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center. During that same week Jacy and Steve will also be speaking at area high schools.  The presentations were organized by the 11th Judicial District Courts, Farmington Police Department and the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management.

Jacy and Steve graduated from college in May 2008. A tragedy struck hours after receiving their diplomas. About halfway back to her childhood home in Lancaster, Pa. the car carrying Jacy and her parents was struck head-on by a tractor trailer as both entered an intersection with green lights. The truck had swerved to try to avoid a man coming from the intersecting road who attempted to turn left through a red light. That man was talking on his phone at the time.

Jacy’s parents never left the scene but an astounding series of fortunate events and unequalled medical care kept Jacy alive in the crumpled car, the ambulance ride and through 8 ½ hours of surgery. She was given a 10 percent chance of survival as she lay comatose and nearly unrecognizable in intensive care that first night. Steve spent 12 hours a day by her side through four months of hospitalization. Jacy’s laundry list of injuries have managed to heal through time and a healthy dose of titanium rods, plates and screws. Due to a traumatic brain injury, she is unable to use her left arm or lower leg and has minor lingering cognitive issues.

Less than a year after that life-altering tragedy, Jacy began to campaign for a cell phone ban in her native Pennsylvania. This unexpectedly triggered an avalanche of interview requests and public appearances. Since April 2010, Jacy has been on The Oprah Winfrey Show, a guest of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations, a “Hero Among Us” in People Magazine, a speaker at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, on NPR’s Car Talk and has been featured in dozens of articles, television news pieces and press conferences nationwide.

Since 2011, Jacy and Steve have spoken at over 850 events across the country to over 250,000 people. They encourage drivers to make safer choices, companies to develop and enforce cell phone policies and legislators to pass necessary laws to protect the public.

For more information about Jacy and Steve, visit



FPD’s response to recent article about crime in our city

A recent article published by 24/7 Wall Street that also ran in The Daily Times, listed Farmington as #8 in 25 cities where violent crime is “soaring.” Once again, our city is being named in an article that is misleading because they are referring to the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) data and not solely to Farmington proper data.

We would like to remind citizens that our extended geographical area has a population exceeding 50,000. Therefore, it has been designated by the federal government as an MSA; Farmington is a subset of the overall MSA. Aztec, Kirtland, Bloomfield, Shiprock, unincorporated areas of San Juan County and parts of the Navajo Nation are also part of the “Farmington MSA.” The MSA is named after Farmington because it has the largest population of the MSA territory. Our MSA is 5,500 square miles, an area larger than the State of Connecticut. Farmington is 32 square miles, which is less than one percent of the MSA.

A positive benefit of being considered an MSA is that we are on the national map for various forms of economic, commercial and retail development. On the negative side, media outlets publish non-independently verified “facts” regarding the Farmington MSA. Typically these reports do not make it clear they are analyzing the entire MSA, leaving readers to assume it is limited to Farmington proper. These media stories can give an incomplete or inaccurate picture of our city. This issue was addressed in a previous episode of The Mayor’s Table (attached). We encourage citizens to watch that episode as it provides a more in-depth explanation of the MSA and the status of our community.

Chief Hebbe stated, “I’m disappointed with yet another article that distorts the image of our city. Like many communities, we do have some violent crime. However, our incidents of random violent crime are significantly less than this article insinuates. Like all of you, the men and women of the Farmington Police Department care deeply about our community and do their best to ensure this remains a safe and wonderful community to live and raise families.”

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police to conduct sobriety checkpoints in March

Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department is working to keep our roadways safe and free from impaired drivers. During the month of March, they will be conducting sobriety checkpoints as part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s ENDDWI campaign. The campaign was created to help reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities on our roadways.

Corporal Johnston with FPD’s Traffic Division emphasized the importance of not driving while impaired, “DWI crashes are something that can be completely avoided by choosing to use a designated driver. By doing so, you’re not only ensuring your own safety but the safety of other individuals and families on the road.”

The Farmington Police Department would also like to remind citizens to be vigilant and report suspected drunk drivers by calling 911. Working with our community to keep our roadways safe!

PRESS RELEASE: Standoff with shooting suspect from Ignacio ends in officer-involved shooting

Farmington, NM – Farmington police responded to the Motel 6 on Bloomfield Boulevard Monday night in reference to a suspect who was wanted by the Ignacio Police Department. The suspect had a felony warrant for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. At approximately 8:45 p.m. the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office located the suspect’s vehicle and confirmed that he was staying at the motel. Farmington Police Department’s SWAT team and crisis negotiation team responded shortly after. The suspect, a 25-year-old male from Colorado, was inside one of the motel rooms along with his mother. His mother came out of the room at approximately 10:18 p.m. SWAT officers began making announcements for the suspect to come out. Around 10:56 p.m. an FPD crisis negotiator attempted to make contact with the suspect by phone, but the suspect would not answer. The negotiator continued to call until around 11:56 p.m. No contact was ever made with the suspect. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the room and just before 1:00 a.m. SWAT slowly made entry into the room. Officers were able to hear movement in the ceiling and again made multiple attempts to get him to come out. SWAT officers began removing the ceiling tile and the suspect fell out. Once on the ground, he immediately stood up and charged officers with a knife. An officer fired his duty weapon striking the suspect. Medical aid was immediately rendered and the suspect was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The New Mexico State Police are responding to take over the investigation. More information will be released as the State Police investigation unfolds. Chief Hebbe said, “While it’s unfortunate that the suspect chose not to end this peacefully, we are extremely relieved and grateful that none of our officers or any other civilians were harmed.”

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police announce plan to increase police presence in schools

Farmington, NM – Earlier this week Farmington Police Department announced on Facebook that they met with representatives from the Farmington Municipal School District. The meeting was to discuss national events and how they can work together to increase safety for students and faculty. Their discussion included plans for an increased police presence in the schools and they anticipated having a finalized plan in place early next week. The plan has been finalized and today FPD announced that uniformed officers of all ranks, including the chief of police, will be making unannounced visits to the schools. The officers will be conducting walkthroughs of the campuses inside and out and will be speaking with students and staff. This is in addition to school resource officers already assigned to schools.

The plan was implemented yesterday and will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year. The public should please be advised, there may be several patrol vehicles in a school parking lot at once during unscheduled visits.

Chief Hebbe expressed the department’s commitment to school safety, “These are trying times in our community and across the nation. Students and faculty should feel safe in the environment in which they learn and teach. We are committed to the safety of our citizens and will continue to work closely with schools and law enforcement throughout the county on this issue.”

PRESS RELEASE: Student charged in connection with school threat

Farmington, NM – A Farmington student has been charged in connection with a recent school threat that took place earlier this week. Farmington police were notified on Tuesday about the threat circulating on social media targeting Tibbetts Middle School. The post read that an individual and friends were going to shoot up the school either Wednesday or Thursday. Detectives with the Farmington Police Department immediately opened an investigation and quickly identified a 14-year-old female as the suspect. Today at approximately 2:40 p.m. she was taken into custody and transported to the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center. She is being charged with interference with the educational process and public nuisance. Detectives believe the female acted alone and haven’t found evidence to support the allegation of other subjects involvement.

Throughout the investigation, an increased police presence was provided at Farmington schools. This increased police presence will remain in place until the end of the school year.

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the public for their ongoing vigilance and dedication to the safety of our children. Chief Hebbe explained, “This case is a testament to the strong partnership between law enforcement and our community. The number of citizens who reported this threat was overwhelming. We commend you for stepping up and making a report.”

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police are taking a proactive approach to combating property crime

Farmington, NM ­- The Farmington Police Department is working to combat property crime with a newly implemented program – impact teams. The teams are led by a corporal and comprised of one member of each of the following divisions: patrol, detectives, District Coordinator Unit, and traffic. Their monthly operations are carried out using a data-driven approach to decrease crime in problem areas. Target crimes include residential burglary, auto burglary and shoplifting. The team chooses a specific crime and location according to data provided by FPD’s crime analyst. “Property crimes are among some of the most difficult to investigate and incredibly frustrating for our citizens,” said Capt. Dowdy. “By taking a proactive, data-driven approach to these types of crimes, we hope to greatly reduce the number of occurrences.”

The impact team’s initial operation took place in September 2017; they’ve since conducted five successful operations. December’s operation targeted shoplifting at select major retail stores and resulted in 23 arrests; the highest number thus far. Of those arrests, 19 were from warrants, 11 from shoplifting charges, four trespassing charges, seven drug-related charges and one open container charge. The team’s most recent operation took place in January and focused on burglaries in known problem areas; six arrests and three citations were issued. Of those arrests, two were of individuals who had warrants for burglary.

The program’s overall success will be measured by the number of arrests made in addition to whether or not target crimes in specific areas decrease. “The safety and well-being of the community are of the utmost importance to FPD,” said Capt. Dowdy. “We will continue to monitor crime trends, analyze the effectiveness of this new program and adjust our approach to addressing these crimes as appropriate.”