Thursday forum to discuss relations between police, immigrant community

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A public forum this week will focus on police relations with the immigrant community.

The forum is hosted by the City of Farmington's Community Relations Commission in partnership with the Farmington Police Department.

Farmington police spokesperson Georgette Allen said panelists will talk about policing in the immigrant community in addition to community members' concerns about interacting with law enforcement.

Panelists include a commission member, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe, Farmington Police Department Victim Advocate Sara Holiday, Somos un Pueblo Unido Community Organizer Elsa Lopez and San Juan College's ENLACE Program Director Arely Caro.

Each one will share insight on the topic, Allen said.

Lopez said the forum is an opportunity for the immigrant community to share stories about interacting with law enforcement, especially when several immigrants live in families where some members are citizens while others are undocumented.

It also increases the organization's collaboration with the police department and provides an outlet to educate the larger population about the community's challenges and concerns, she said.

In addition to the panel discussion, there will a question and answer session, Allen said.

The forum will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Farmington Civic Center.

This is the first forum hosted by the Community Relations Commission.

It is also the first in a biannual series of forums with the purpose of bringing together local leaders and public interest groups to address community concerns about varying topics, according to a City of Farmington press release.

Other partners for the event are The Daily Times, San Juan Safe Communities Initiative and KSJE 90.9 FM.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at