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Artesia residents urged to get out and talk with police on Friday

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ARTESIA — Artesia residents who would like to talk with members of the Artesia Police Department in an informal setting can do so later this week, according to Commander Lindell Smith.

Smith

Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Jahva House at 105 N. Fifth St., some APD folks will be there for Coffee with a Cop. This is a venture that Artesia Police have participated in years past.

“It’s kind of a neutral area where we can go and talk about different things,” Smith said.

“We’ve tried in the past where any officer who’s on duty can come to the function and kind of found that a little busy,” he added.

At past events, Smith said sometimes police personnel outnumber members of the public, “it was kind of a logistics thing where we could do this a little bit differently.”

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He said the department has changed things to where they now have one representative from each APD division.

“We have patrol, criminal investigations, support and administrative,” he said. “Between the patrol officers, their obvious duties is to take daily calls for service. Criminal investigations investigates major crimes and felonies. Support services is the jail and the school resource officers, and then administration is recruiting, selection and hiring, and internal affairs, and complaint allegation investigations.”

He said someone will be at the Jahva House from each APD section on Friday.

“The idea is if a person wants to ask a question of a specific division, they certainly can,” he said. “If they want to ask a general question about policing, then there’s certainly resources there to get those questions answered,” Smith said.

He added that people can talk about any issue whether it’s happening in Artesia or across the nation. Smith added that some people may want to talk about gun control or school violence.

“We as a police department and citizens as well, we all have to come to the realization that if we really want to have some big major changes, we can take a whole bunch of internal actions within the police department and working with the schools and different entities to make sure our kids are safe, that’s for sure,” he said.

“There are other big pictures that people might be looking at (and) that kind of exist and are changeable outside of the four walls of the police department,” he said.

Smith said the public need to know where they can go and ask general questions and meet some of the people who are involved with APD.

“At this session of Coffee with a Cop, they’ll meet people that are supervisors with all those divisions and be able to have the conversations they want to have,” he said.

Smith said this will allow Artesia residents and APD a chance to discuss things in an open forum.

“We’re not gonna be able to get through the mistakes we make as a police department and the citizens in general are counting on us to continuously improve,” he said.

“This is one of the ways we want to continuously improve and hear what the citizens have to tell us and process it and make sure, and that we’re understanding what we need to do,” Smith added.

He is asking Artesia residents to come out to Friday’s event and have “a reasonable conversation with us about things that are going on in the city and let us know what’s happening in your neighborhood.”

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.