The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Public Safety

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Volunteers needed for Placitas Fire and Rescue

—BUD BRINKERHOFF, CHIEF, PLACITAS VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE

Twice a year, the Placitas Fire Department puts on a recruitment drive to provide additional volunteers to serve as fire and rescue personnel for the greater Placitas region. Our Brigade responds to over four hundred fire and rescue calls per year. We provide primary response to the Placitas area and mutual aid to Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Algodones, and the Indian Pueblos to the south, west, and north of Placitas. As a Brigade member, you will be provided with the best opportunity to help your friends and neighbors during their most difficult times.

The Placitas Brigade offers recruit classes in April and October of each year, and we’re beginning the process for our fall class. No prior experience is necessary, as we provide a full gambit of training, beginning with a recruit entry-level orientation course. This course prepares new members with the basic training to participate safely and effectively on emergency scenes.

The course runs for approximately forty hours and includes training in CPR, the incident command structure, hazardous materials awareness, radio and equipment familiarization, as well as tours of our district and the dispatch center. The course is held at Placitas Station 41, located at 463 Highway 165. Classes are held on weeknights and weekends to accommodate those with a working schedule and conclude with a mock scene training with other responding members.

New recruits will be provided all the necessary protective clothing, as well as radios/pagers for communication effectiveness. All training and equipment is paid for and provided by the Placitas Department.

If you are interested in this opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your community, call John Wolf at 771-3788 for more information and to sign up for a one-hour prospective member session.

 


“Don’t take things that aren’t yours”

—GARY K. KING, NEW MEXICO ATTORNEY GENERAL

It is such a simple concept, a basic rule of living in a civilized society. Unfortunately, not everyone lives by the rules, and that’s why the Santa Fe District Attorney (DA) Henry Valdez and the New Mexico Attorney General’s (AG) Office have joined forces to discourage the misuse of government property and resources.

The DA’s White Collar Crime Unit and my office’s Government Accountability Division are working together to root out and prosecute crimes that are committed by public servants against the very people they work for—New Mexico citizens.

We understand that sometimes good people do bad things, and maybe sometimes these same people don’t truly understand that they are committing a serious crime and that there are civil and criminal penalty consequences. Therefore, I think it is good idea to spell out what various state laws define as real crimes. Here are just a few relatively minor but still very much prohibited activities.

•It is illegal for any state, county, or local treasurer, or any public officer or employee to receive reward, consideration, or profit from loan or deposit of public funds, or to use public funds for any purpose not authorized by law.

State officials and employees are prohibited from coercing employees into supporting political campaigns.

State officers and employees—as well as their families—are prohibited from profiting through official acts.

Legislators, state officers, and employees are prohibited from using confidential government information for anyone’s personal gain.

It is unlawful to make a false public voucher.

•It is illegal to offer or give anything of value to a public officer or employee in return for official action.

State officials and employees are prohibited from selling goods or services to an employee they supervise through personal or family business; nor can they profit from or receive a commission for a sale to an employee they supervise.

•It is illegal to sell or be a party to any transaction to sell or receive profit or commission from the sale of any instructional material, furniture, equipment, insurance, school supplies, or work under contract to the department, school district, or public school with which such person is associated or employed.

The illegal acts listed above range from misdemeanors to felonies, and some are punishable by significant jail time in addition to large fines. Some may wonder, “Don’t the AG and DA have bigger fish to fry? Why bother with the little stuff?” The answer is yes, we do have bigger fish to fry, but there is still plenty of room in that frying pan. And we “bother” with prosecuting relatively smaller crimes because combined, they can represent great monetary losses to public coffers and, perhaps more importantly—left unchecked and unprosecuted, unscrupulous people might think no one is watching, so why not steal?

But, we are watching and we will prosecute offenders. In the coming weeks, my office will post on our website more definitions of these types of crimes and ways for the public to report suspected violations. We also plan a short publication with similar information. In addition, all state agencies will be asked to help get the word out to state employees. Working together, we can help ensure ethical and honest government for everyone. Thank you.

[Article title source: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.]

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