Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Public Safety

Pipeline workers put cement barriers atop pipeline that runs near and through Las Huertas Creek in Placitas.
Photo credit: —Ty Belknap

LPA set to move on pipeline monitoring project

Signpost Staff

A plan to install 48 early warning monitoring wells along petroleum pipelines running through Placitas is ready to take the next step. What that step will be is the topic of a Las Placitas Association (LPA) meeting scheduled for December 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Placitas Senior and Community Center—41 Camino de las Huertas.

As originally proposed in August, the plan involved landowners allowing the small wells for leak detection to be drilled on their properties, said Dwight Patterson, an LPA director who is leading the project. The plan now places the wells inside 15 miles of the corridor where the high-pressure pipelines carry crude oil, natural-gas liquids, and carbon dioxide, he said.

Air samples would be taken from the wells periodically to check for signs of leaks that could threaten Placitas groundwater. The pipelines generally follow Las Huertas Creek and, in some places, are buried under the creekbed.

“We’re going to give our updates of what we’ve accomplished to date,” Patterson said. “Then we’ll open it for discussion on whether the plan goes forward as is, is changed, or we do something else.”

Patterson said he is working with legislators on funding the estimated $150,000 dollars to sink the wells and with the county to act as the administrator for the project. Ongoing annual monitoring costs of around $23,000 dollars could be covered by a Placitas-area property tax of averaging about $9.20 per household if voters approve, he added.

Patterson also will be talking about the project  an interview for KUPR-FM 99.9, Placitas community radio. The interview is scheduled to air at 5:00 p.m. on December 7 and again at 2:00 p.m. on December 9. It also will be posted in the What’s New section of the KUPR website ( after the first broadcast.

Sandoval county commissioner charged in domestic dispute

—Bill Diven

Sandoval County Commissioner James Dominguez faces four criminal charges after an argument with his wife drew the attention of Bernalillo police.

In the police report from the November 10 incident, Dominguez and Guadalupe Reyes both describe an argument turning physical, although they disagree on some of the alleged details. According to the investigating officer, Dominguez admitted taking her car keys and phone so they could work things out at home without involving the police.

Reyes did eventually leave in her SUV with Dominguez following in his pickup truck. The officer said he was patrolling U.S. Highway 550 when he saw what he thought was a road-rage incident as a man leaned out of the driver’s-side window of a pickup and pointed at a woman driving an SUV in the other lane.

When he pulled the truck driven by Dominguez over on Camino Don Tomas, the SUV kept going. Reyes later appeared at the police station saying she wanted to report a domestic battery.

Dominguez was charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and interference with communications and felony counts of false imprisonment and assault with the intent to commit a violent felony. He was served with a warrant on November 12 and released on his own recognizance with his initial appearance in Magistrate Court appearance scheduled for November 30, according to court records.

Court records also show that on November 12 he filed for divorce from Reyes.

Sandoval County Sheriff’s Posse annual Toy Run Benefit

The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Posse helps less fortunate families in our community receive toys and coats at Christmas time. Each year we ask our local churches and schools to provide us with names of children in need. A warm coat alone can significantly improve performance at school. A gift at this special time of year shows they are not forgotten. With help of our community and businesses we can make a big difference in a child’s life.

On December 5, following the Town of Bernalillo Christmas Parade, we will host our Toy Run Benefit. This is held at the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Posse event hall located at 1043 Rodeo Lane in  Bernalillo. At the event hall, we will have a potluck dinner and dance, a silent auction, and raffle the donated items we have received. Event organizers encourage the public to come enjoy a night out, dance, have fun, and support the community.

All of the money collected from this benefit will go toward the purchase of toys and winter coats. Admission to this event is ten dollars per person at the door or a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl.

Predictive policing yields results

—Paul J. Rogers II, Captain, Rio Rancho Police Department

The Rio Rancho Police Department recently initiated the utilization of software that has the ability to forecast areas where crime is likely to occur. The program, in its infancy in Rio Rancho, generates areas of probable activity by analyzing past crime based on date, place, and category of offense.

The software then generates daily suggestions for locations that should be frequented by officers, depending on where it calculates criminal activity is most likely to occur. Each officer is responsible to review the suggested areas on a daily basis. Those areas are different based on the time of the shift.

The software was implemented on October 15, and we will be analyzing crime rates to determine its effectiveness. Although the Rio Rancho Police Department recognizes that predictive policing needs to be scrutinized over different time periods to determine its impact, early indications are reassuring.

During the period of October 28 through November 3, no residential burglaries were reported within the City. We will continue to monitor our effectiveness, while utilizing the software to deter crime. Because alert citizens are always our best source of information, continue to report suspicious activity.

By addressing crime using all the methods available to us, the Rio Rancho Police Department will continue to fulfill its mission goal to consistently seek and find ways to affirmatively promote, preserve, and deliver a feeling of security, safety and quality services to all persons within the City of Rio Rancho.

Police Information Exchange

—Michael Geier, Chief, Rio Rancho Police Department

The “Police Information Exchange” (PIE) will be having monthly gatherings through December. The program has been created in an effort to foster the development of crime prevention programs, and to keep our neighborhoods, families, and businesses safe from crime and secure from all threats. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our citizens by encouraging citizens to be good neighbors and assisting the Police Department in identifying crime.

The Department would like to provide a variety of educational and training opportunities to the citizens we serve and establish a social gathering location for connecting and communicating. The next meeting, “Self-protection for women,” will be held on December 7, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Loma Colorado Library Conference Room—755 Loma Colorado Boulevard, Rio Rancho. For details, visit

Mayor encourages decorating with blue

The holiday season is going to look a lot different this year in Rio Rancho. Mayor Gregg Hull is asking Rio Rancho residents and businesses to string up blue holiday lights and décor in honor of law enforcement officers. “We are one of the safest cities in New Mexico, and I want to show the state how our city can come together to honor those who protect and serve us on a daily basis.”

Mayor Hull will judge the bluest business, house, and residential street based on nominations made by citizens. Nominations can be emailed to Rose Martinez at no later than December 13, 2015. The winners will be presented with a proclamation and receive a personal delivery of cookies and hot chocolate from Mayor Hull on December 20, 2015.

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