Vehicles from several law enforcement agencies at a staging area in Espanola Thursday evening. Photo Courtesy EPD
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Espanola Police Chief Roger Jimenez expressed his appreciation Friday afternoon to Los Alamos Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies for their support Thursday evening in Espanola when the community was expecting protestors and rioters from out of town.
Jimenez said information had been received from a third party that there would possibly be activity in the Walmart area on Riverside Drive with participants from Albuquerque, Taos and out of state. He told the Los Alamos Reporter that Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s deputies were very supportive as well as New Mexico State Police. Additional agencies were on standby in case they were needed and Espanola Fire Department and Streets Department were also ready for call-out.
Jimenez several small businesses in the city were willing to protect their businesses if necessary and he was determined to keep everyone safe. He said Walmart and some other larger business have their own protocols in place and had reached out to their corporate offices before closing after EPD gave them the heads up.
While the additional law enforcement was not needed after all, Jimenez said the important thing was to be prepared so protect the safety of everyone involved. He said apart from making sure nobody was injured, it was important that businesses were not damaged, particularly those that have been struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis.
LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone confirmed Thursday evening that several LAPD officers were in Espanola. In an email Friday afternoon, he said as a public safety organization, LAPS has regularly shared resources and engaged in partnerships with multiple area agencies and will continue to do so where they can.
“Specific to our law enforcement partners, we will continue to provide resources to assist in matters where the safety of the citizens and officers is at risk,” Sgambellone said.