Editor:

A few words for the chief of police in the firing of Sgt. Robert Perez "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Sgt. Perez is one of the most decorated policemen in the Farmington Police Department, named "Detective of the Year" in the state of New Mexico a few years back, he has the highest work ethic of any detective I've met in the department, and has been recognized for doing an exemplary job in the Convention Bureau embezzlement case by the state law enforcement prior to FPD Internal Affairs actions. So why was he fired? I think the department is trying to discredit Sgt. Perez before his lawsuit can be heard in September.

His firing is an attempt to deprive Sgt. Perez of his 20-year pension. He has been the most active of investigators in Farmington. He is highly commended by the local judges who recognize him for his integrity and abilities as a detective. Our family wishes that he had not been removed from the case of our daughter, Tamara Gallegos, in 2010. We feel the outcome would have been very different if he had been allowed to complete the work. The other detectives involved, except Cpl. Bradford and Sgt. Perez, had no concern or caring about the investigation. They let evidence that was collected at the scene and autopsy sit in a locker for months and didn't send it for evaluation until we insisted. The manner of death on the death certificate is inaccurate. Sgt. Perez remained our only hope in the FPD for resolution and answers to our questions.

I tip "Hats off' to Sheriff Christensen for hiring Sgt.


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Perez to work for the San Juan County Sheriff's Department. He will not be disappointed.

Releasing the report to the City Manager was what Sgt. Perez was instructed to do and he did not include hearsay evidence into his report. The reasons for termination are obviously retaliation against Sgt. Perez. What "violations" of the "Code of Conduct" occurred? This same "code' got Sgt. Perez in trouble when he reported a breech in protocol by his superiors during Tamara's investigation. What happened to them? Were they terminated?

The City Council needs to get control of the Chief of Police and the City Manager and make some major changes from the top down. We cannot afford to lose on Iv the good detectives in our Police Department.

Harold K. McFarling

Farmington