February 24, 2004
Response to John Fragoso's article regarding Carlos Leon
It's amazing to see just how much misinformation starts flying during the political season, and the race for Sheriff is no different. I'm the guy who runs the Patrol Division for the S.O. and feel its time to respond to some of the rather interesting "facts'" I keep hearing about. Let's start with this community policing issue. The division I run under Sheriff Samaniego has a Community Services unit. Its made up of School Resource Officers, DARE, Drug Education, Crime Prevention and a new one, Community Resource Officer. The last one is a community based effort that puts a deputy in one of the sub-stations we operate in Fabens, East Montana and soon in Canutillo. The idea is to staff these locations so that it provides accessibility to rural folks in the county. Nothing new, it just makes sense and is already being done.
I keep hearing this communication
complaint. Now, what police manager in his/her right mind would send a
deputy into the field without having provided them with the best
possible commo system? Notice I said best possible, not perfect. Heck,
even NASA has some commo problems with the space shuttle! But, we have
worked hard to establish a three tier system comprised of (1) voice
transmission VHF, a State authorized, and standardized frequency, backed
I'm pleased to tell you that my division is made up of 164 personnel who are among the best anywhere. We drive good cars, with radios that work. We are in the process of completing the MDT installations. That means computers in all the cars using the same system the city PD has. And it should be no secret to Mr. Leon that we have them since he authorized the use of their system. So why the insinuation that we don't have them, or they don't work? Its a city PD system, and so far, with but a few hick-ups as we tune it, its doing fine.
We have lots of far reaching, innovative and appropriate community based programs. We strive to have a unit dispatched to every call for service so that a reporter or complainant talks to a deputy. We have a Patrol Traffic Interdiction Unit, a RAPTOR Team and a Courthouse Security detail. Our personnel cover areas in this county that most people don't even know exist, and we go to these places knowing that resources are sometimes a long way off. But we work hard to be sure that the job gets done in the safest manner possible. It must be the case because we haven't lost one in a long, long time. And they must feel pretty good about the job because they stick around forever. (Saying that just makes me want to say THANKS to all the deputies for the job you do!
So here's my bottom line. Get to know the
facts. Present them fairly.
Capt. Al Hernandez
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