Second deputy chief joins Farmington Police Department
New hire cleared of allegations in Bernalillo County
FARMINGTON — Farmington police Chief Steve Hebbe believes the hiring of a second deputy chief will bring an outside perspective to his agency and help improve the department's processes.
Deputy Chief Jessica Tyler worked her first day at the department on Monday, joining Daryl Noon as the other deputy chief.
Discussion of adding the position started in the fall when Noon began exploring other options, including retirement from the force, Hebbe said. That led the department to start thinking of a succession plan, should Noon retire.
"This just seemed like a good time to bring in someone so there is overlap, so there can be cross training and Jessica can learn more of the culture from Daryl," Hebbe said.
The new position, with an annual salary of $109,000, was included in the department's 2018-2019 budget, Hebbe said.
About nine or 10 applicants filed for the job. They were whittled down to Tyler and another applicant. Both were interviewed by two separate panels.
Tyler was familiar with the Farmington Police Department, having assisted the department about four years ago as it underwent Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies reaccreditation.
"I had the opportunity to work with Farmington Police Department in various capacities in the last five years," Tyler said. "Every interaction I had with them was positive."
Tyler said she was excited to join Farmington police and that community service is something law enforcement should have as their first priority.
She has about 18 years of experience in law enforcement, having worked for the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office for more than 15 years and the Albuquerque Police Department for a little more than two years and six months.
Tyler graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminology and psychology from the University of New Mexico. She later earned her master's degree in public administration from UNM.
During her time with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, Tyler was referred to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board for possible discipline. She was accused of several policy violations, which included sharing information from internal affairs with another deputy, The Albuquerque Journal reported.
The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board declined to discipline Tyler during a Sept. 7, 2016, meeting, according to the minutes of the meeting.
"That whole incident was retaliation based on me standing up for my rights as a woman with (Bernalillo County) Sheriff (Manuel) Gonzales (III)," Tyler said.
She added it was an unfortunate use of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board, but the organization cleared her of all allegations.
"Officers get accused of things during the course of their career, you do an investigation and if nothing is found there, you move one," Hebbe said.
He said he spoke to the head of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board and Tyler's old boss at the Albuquerque Police Department before hiring Tyler.
"The value that she brings, the strengths she had stood out over any allegations that were made against her," Hebbe said.
Tyler brings experience from working at two of the biggest law enforcement agencies in the state. She will handle mostly administrative responsibilities. Those include internal affairs, background hiring processes and the training division.
Noon will handle more of the operations-based responsibilities, including patrol, the detective division and district coordinator units, Hebbe said.
Tyler said her experience has given her a good look at policy development, along with the hiring, recruiting and basic training for new recruits and ongoing training for current officers.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.