Farmington police recognize citizen for brave actions

Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe awards Shannon Begay with the Outstanding Citizen Award on 4-13-21

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police recognized Shannon Begay today with the Outstanding Citizen Award for her brave actions while helping a fellow citizen.

On March 21, 2021, around 5:36 a.m., Ms. Begay heard gunshots outside her apartment, followed by a man calling for help. She rushed outside and found a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. Ms. Begay immediately applied pressure to his injury and called 911 for assistance. She tended his wound and stayed with him until officers arrived. The man attempted to stop thieves from stealing his motorcycle parked in front of the apartment building while armed with a .22 caliber pistol. One of the subjects bear-hugged the man from behind, forcing the gun into his arm as the gun went off. The subjects left the scene immediately after the gun was fired. The man was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated. The case is still under investigation by Farmington detectives.

Ms. Begay says she was quick to jump into action after attending active shooter training with Farmington Police Department’s District Coordinator Unit through her employer. She credits the training she received from Officer Michele DeLese for helping her “mind go there, so her body could follow.” One of the officers who responded to the call had the opportunity to meet Ms. Begay later at a tabletop training and hear her story. Officer Zack Wood then nominated Ms. Begay for the Outstanding Citizen Award. FPD is honored to recognize Ms. Begay for her actions and bravery. 

Any businesses interested in the FPD DCU officers bringing the active shooter training to their employees can contact Officer Robert Decker via email at to arrange COVID-19 safe classes. The DCU officers will begin training that is open to the public again at a later date, depending on COVID-19 precautions.

Citizen Recognition

8-26-15On August 8, 2015 Farmington police were actively looking for a missing nine-year-old boy. FPD was using a variety of methods, including their Facebook page, to locate the child. Within a short time of posting the boy’s photo, a citizen reported that she had located him; that caller was Gustina John.

Ms. John was at Target and had remained in her vehicle with her children while her husband went inside. While she waited, Ms. John checked her Facebook page and saw the missing child’s photo with a request for the public’s assistance. She looked up and saw a boy resembling the one in the photo playing in the grass in front of her. Ms. John made contact with him and identified that he was the missing child. After she called authorities, Ms. John played in the grass with the boy until police arrived.

Farmington Police Department would like to recognize Ms. John for stepping up and getting involved that day. She did an outstanding job of recognizing the child and taking action to ensure his safe return. It is because of Ms. John that a young child was safely reunited with his family.

Farmington Police Department thanks you, Gustina John! Together we are making the community a better place to live, work, and play.


Steven Hebbe

Chief of Police

Citizen Recognition

Rick Nez 7-2-15

Sheldon Russell

The Farmington Police Department would like to recognize Rick Nez and Sheldon Russell for their heroic actions which saved another man’s life. On Saturday, June 27, 2015 at approximately 11:10 p.m., officers were dispatched to the bridge on the Bisti Highway in reference to a male subject attempting to jump into the river. When they arrived, officers found Nez and Russell holding on to the subject so he could not jump from the bridge.

Officers learned that Nez was driving on the Bisti Highway and as he was passing the bridge he saw a man climbing over the fence. Nez turned around, parked, exited his vehicle and made contact with the him. At this time, the man was standing on the other side of the fence, ready and able to leap into the river. Nez grabbed the individual to prevent him from jumping and then began talking to him. At this time, Russell drove by and saw what was going on. Concerned, he stopped and went over to assist with the situation. Nez and Russell held on to the subject and talked to him until police arrived.

It would have been easy for Nez and Russell to not get involved, but instead, they showed compassion for a fellow citizen who was in crisis. When individuals go above and beyond to help a stranger, especially under such dire circumstances, it reminds us of what a great community we live in. On behalf of the Farmington Police Department, thank you!

George Golombowski wins volunteer of the year for his work with Farmington Police Department

George Golombowski with San Juan College President, Dr. Toni Pendergrass
George Golombowski with San Juan College President, Dr. Toni Pendergrass

George Golombowski has been a participant of the Farmington Police Department’s Volunteer Program for the past 20 years. During this time, George has established himself as a highly capable and dedicated volunteer, giving countless hours to the agency and the community it serves. On Tuesday, April 14, George was recognized for his work during the Volunteer of the Year Banquet hosted by the San Juan College Volunteer Center. The annual event is held to honor volunteers throughout San Juan County. Individuals may be nominated in one of several categories; George was nominated for individual volunteer.

In their nomination, FPD emphasized George’s tireless work with neighborhood watch. His dependability to fellow citizens in being a spokesperson for neighborhood issues, accompanied by his enthusiasm to recruit new participants, are but a few examples of George’s dedication to the program. George has also been vital to FPD’s fingerprinting service that takes place every Wednesday. This service is available for community members who are needing fingerprinting for background checks. George collects incoming fees, issues receipts, balances the ledger, and frequently assists parents who come with their children.

Most recently, George volunteered to help with the Hogback Ditch Cleaning Project. This was a partnership between FPD and the Victory Life Church in Shiprock to help clean the irrigation ditch that provides water to area farmers. The day was long and hot, but George was there working alongside the other volunteers with his usual cheerful attitude and eagerness to be involved.

These are but a few of George’s contributions to his community. The Farmington Police Department has enjoyed working alongside him throughout the years and believes he is a true asset to not only the agency, but to the citizens of Farmington.

Congratulations George!

Citizen Recognition

Chief recognizes citizen for his role in apprehension of DWI offender

Citizen Recognition 10-9-14
October 9, 2014

On Monday, August 4, 2014 at approximately 12:41 p.m. a Farmington police officer called out on the radio in reference to a vehicle speeding and colliding with parked vehicles in the area of Behrend and Arrington. Several citizens had also called dispatch to report the erratic driver who was traveling well above the speed limit and endangering the public. One citizen, later identified as Isaac Kynast, observed the vehicle traveling south on Miller Avenue at estimated speeds of 80 to 85 miles per hour. Mr. Kynast followed the vehicle so that he could provide dispatch with updates of its whereabouts. The vehicle entered the intersection of Miller and Murray where it hit the center median and then continued to travel west on Murray. The vehicle ultimately left the roadway at Murray and Auburn and came to a stop. Mr. Kynast observed the driver exit his vehicle and run west where he was intercepted by San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies and State Police Officers. The driver was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI (his second offense), driving on a suspended license, open container, and related traffic offenses.

The Farmington Police Department would like to recognize Mr. Kynast for taking a stand against drunk driving and helping to protect the citizens of Farmington. There is no doubt that Mr. Kynast’s actions prevented the suspect from causing further harm to the community. Let his actions serve as an example of what a single phone call from a dedicated and caring citizen can do for his community.

On behalf of the Farmington Police Department, I am honoring Isaac Kynast with the utmost gratitude for his selfless assistance with protecting the citizens of the City of Farmington.

Thank you Mr. Kynast!