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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 06, 2016 Yvette Soto, Deputy U.S. Marshal
District of New Mexico (575) 386-4223
U.S. Marshals Celebrate National Community Policing Week in
Las Cruces, New Mexico by going back to the classroom

Las Cruces, NM - In August, our United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch sent out a challenge for all Federal and local law enforcement agencies to continue to establish new relationships between law enforcement and the community that we serve every day. Attorney General Lynch specifically requested more community policing and building trust and respect between local law enforcement and our area neighborhoods.

In the wake of recent tragedies that have occurred around our nation involving police, the U.S. Marshals Service of the District of Las Cruces, New Mexico accepted Attorney General Lynch’s challenge. Investigative Research Specialist (IRS) Rebecca Flores immediately searched for a local school that offers a low student to teacher ratio and therefore is not one of the large schools that law enforcement and job fairs tend to flock to. It was decided that Mission Lutheran School (grades K through 5th) would be the selected school, especially when it was confirmed by Principal Mrs. Martin, that their school was rarely afforded the opportunity for an outside agency or company to enter school grounds and offer to spend some time with the students. This event was open to all parents and members of the surrounding community.

On October 5th, a team of deputy United States Marshals arrived with gear in tow and were led to a large classroom filled with kids of all ages. The deputies jumped right in to a light and basic history of our prestigious agency, the importance of a good education, and to stay away from drugs, which immediately triggered class participation and provoked some great questions. Most of the questions were typical inquisitive questions, but the most important and memorable question of the day was by a little 6 year old girl who asked, “So, do you get to take naps?” Deputy U.S. Marshal Vigil answered that question without skipping a beat and stated,” No we don’t, but we do get to have snacks.” That answer seemed to rest well with all of the students who are all now wishing to become United States Marshals.

The students then volunteered Kinder/ 1st grade teacher, Ms. Smith to gear up as a Marshal. The students really had fun with that and then got to try it on for themselves. Deputies Gutierrez and Vigil both answered questions from the class. The Deputies left the students with the idea that each one of them could become anything that they wanted to be, if they stay in school, get good grades and try really hard to always do their best.

The U.S. Marshals Service, Las Cruces office will continue to promote community based policing and was offered another opportunity that spun-off from this event. The event will be held for students at the NMSU Garcia annex on October 17th and will be an information session about the Marshals Service and hiring opportunities that have recently opened.

October 3-7, 2016 has now been designated as the inaugural National Community Policing Week.

Thank you to all members of the community and parents who participated in this positive event, to the teachers and staff of Mission Lutheran School and to the deputies who graciously volunteered to go to this welcoming school. We hope that this new partnership continues for many years to come.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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