Farmington Police Department Patrol Division

Operations of the Patrol Division

The Patrol Division is considered the “backbone” of any law enforcement agency and the Farmington Police Department is no different. This division provides law enforcement coverage 24-hours a day through four shifts. Officers in this division engage in proactive patrol duties and are first to respond to almost all crimes in progress. Patrol Division personnel often work in conjunction with officers in specialty units such as Traffic, K-9s, Detectives, and District Coordinators. All officers must serve in the Patrol Division before becoming eligible for one of the many specialty units within the department. As the primary responder to all calls for service within the city limits, the Patrol Division's goal is to provide prompt and professional service while safeguarding the community.

The following specialty units are included under the Patrol Division.

Traffic Unit

The Farmington Police Department serves a population of more than 45,000 people and patrols more than 33 square miles. The primary role of the Traffic Unit is to enforcement traffic laws and investigate traffic crashes and suspected DWI related stops. FPD officers participate in a number of selective enforcement programs managed by the Traffic Division. The programs are funded by grants administered through the New Mexico Traffic Safety Bureau and Safer New Mexico Now. These programs include Operation DWI (ODWI), Community DWI (CDWI), Operation Buckle Down (OBD), Click it or Ticket, and the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Each are geared toward gaining voluntary compliance of the citizens with regard to violations that contribute to traffic crashes.

The Traffic Division ad­dresses community concerns using the most appropriate methods. Examples include enforcing traffic laws, utilizing speed trailers, which aid in driver education and driver awareness; and placement of traffic counters to collect data on the total number of vehicles, time of day roadways are most commonly used, and average speeds.

K-9 Unit

The Farmington Police Department K-9 Unit consists of four dog-handler (K-9) teams. Each K-9 team reduces the amount of man hours spent on calls by approximately 800 to 1,000 hours per year. The focus of the K-9 Unit is to increase the safety of the officers, citizens, and suspects involved in calls. The K-9 Unit supplements the Patrol Division and can respond to any call for service. K-9 teams primarily respond to violent calls, calls involving weapons, building searches related to alarms or forced entry, fleeing subjects, and searches for lost, missing or endangered children or persons. K-9 teams are also trained to detect narcotics and respond to narcotics related calls. They are members of the SWAT team and also assist the Gang Task Force and Region II Narcotics Task Force.

K-9 teams work night time hours; however, one K-9 team is on call at all times. The unit maintains a good working relationship with all agencies in the area and assists and responds to calls in San Juan County, Southwest Colorado, and the Navajo Nation reservation. The specialized nature of the K-9 Unit requires their teams to train as a group for a minimum of four hours each week and each K-9 team to train daily.

District Coordinator Unit

The District Coordinator Unit (DCU) is a community oriented policing and problem solving specialty unit. The DCU falls under the direction of the Support Services Division lieutenant and sergeant. The unit currently consists of one corporal and five officers who are assigned to specific areas within the city.

The District Coordinator Unit is dedicated to community policing strategies and problem oriented solutions. The unit actively promotes and partners with business watch groups, crime free multi-housing programs, schools, civic organizations and other business professionals, as well as neighboring law enforcement agencies. The DCU is charged with integrating community based policing in direct partnership with our citizens to help identify and resolve a varied assortment of problems affecting many aspects of our citizens. The unit also promotes neighborhood and business watch groups, attends a multitude of meetings regarding all aspects of the community and utilizes reporting data towards traditional, non-traditional and forward thinking responses to challenging issues. On average, the unit conducts at least one safety presentation per week, while other weeks consist of numerous presentations offered on a wide variety of topics.

The DCU is actively involved in a number of annual community events, including: River Fest, Freedom Days, Connie Mack World Series, Road Apple Rally Bike Race, Rod Run Car Show, BOO-Palooza, parades and other community based causes and events.
In addition, the DCU, in conjunction with outside entities, is moving forth with the expansion of the Joint Intervention Program (JIP). The JIP aims to actively engage the street-inebriate, repeat offenders by providing accountability, structure and medical services. The principal goal of the program is to provide a fundamental service to help aid the individual rehabilitation from a habitual street inebriate and offender, to a productive member of society. Recently, the DCU introduced a new virtual web-based Neighborhood Watch program through Next Door. Nex Door is a free, private social networking platform where neighbors can come together, connect online and disseminate information to help build a stronger and safer community to call home.

Lastly, in late 2014, the Farmington Police Department was awarded a United States Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grant, which provided six additional officers into the ranks of the DCU. These positions began influencing productivity in 2015 and allow for a much greater grassroots presence of community based policing, problematic directed enforcement and community outreach initiatives centered toward improving the overall quality of life and safety of the City of Farmington.

The DCU has, and will, remain vigilant and focused on addressing our community’s needs, while directing our concentrated efforts towards preventing crime before it happens.