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.”