Farmington police host National Night Out

Police chief, command staff dyed their hair pink during National Night Out in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON — Bicycle and canine demonstrations, food and a pumpkin patch were some of the many activities that attracted hundreds of local residents to Brookside Park on Saturday for the Farmington Police Department’s first National Night Out.

Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe has his hair colored pink by Rebecca Ross, left, Farmington Police Department Deputy Chief Keith McPheeters, Hailey Tafoya and Amber Pearson Saturday during National Night Out at Brookside Park in Farmington.

National Night Out is a police initiative that promotes partnerships between the police department and the community.

The event is typically celebrated in August, but Farmington decided to have its event in October so that it would not have to compete with other large community events such as the Connie Mack World Series and the San Juan County Fair.

Although this is the first year Farmington has presented National Night Out, San Juan County residents may be familiar with the initiative. The Aztec Police Department also conducts a National Night Out event.

Because the Farmington Police Department delayed its National Night Out celebration until October, it coupled the event with Halloween activities, including a pumpkin patch.

Tee Williams, center, plays a game of ring toss Saturday during National Night Out at Brookside Park in Farmington.

Georgette Allen, the department’s spokeswoman, said more than 100 pumpkins were distributed within the first hour of the event.

Some of the children then went and had their pumpkins signed by police officers, Allen said.

In addition to connecting the event to Halloween, various activities and vendors helped raise money for San Juan Medical Foundation's Cathy Lincoln Memorial Cancer Fund as part of the county-wide Get Pinked campaign.

Get Pinked occurs every October in connection to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Latisha Joseph, the executive assistant of San Juan Medical Foundation, said the city always has a Get Pinked carnival or a similar kickoff event. This year, National Night Out served as the kickoff event for Get Pinked events throughout the community.

Rebecca Ross puts the finishing touches on Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe's mustache Saturday during National Night Out at Brookside Park in Farmington.

The biggest attraction at National Night Out was connected to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe and his command staff dyed their hair pink.

As the beauticians added the finishing touches to Hebbe’s hair, one of them held up a mirror for him.

“I was surprised it was as pink as it was,” Hebbe said.

His expression reflected that shock as he looked into the mirror.

“My hair hasn’t seen color for many years,” the normally white-haired Hebbe said.

When he was told that the dye was mainly chalk and that he would end up eating some of it if he dyed his mustache, Hebbe initially decided to forego coloring his mustache, though he had his hair and eyebrows dyed.

Farmington Police Lt. Donnie Kee, center, has his hair painted pink Saturday during National Night Out at Brookside Park in Farmington.

Then, the crowd began chanting, “Mustache, mustache.”

“Clearly, the will of the people prevailed,” Hebbe said afterward.

He said the police department plans on making National Night Out an annual event.

“It’s been a real success,” he said. “I think everybody’s been pleased.”

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.