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Neighborhood Watch Notification: Update and Coffee with the Chief - January 23rd, 2021

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Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen
First, I will start this notification with an update on our recent tragedy. Lizbeth Lino, our 13 year old victim, was determined to have died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Even the lifesaving efforts by responding Center Police Officers in the form of CPR and the rapid response by Center Fire Medics who worked to revive Lizbeth during the entire trip to the hospital were not enough to overcome the effects of this poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. 
I am very proud of the response to the loss of this family by Our Town and our surrounding neighbors. A new residence was provided, clothes have been donated in abundance, we have people donating furniture, and several thousand dollars have been provided to the family who needs a large amount of financial assistance in the face of moving and burial costs. This does not mitigate the unexpected and tragic loss of a loved one. However, it demonstrates the tremendous heart and soul of Our Community. 
Center Police and Center Fire personnel held a critical incident debrief last night. These types of debriefs are held to discuss the incident for determination on what was done well, what can be improved and pave the way for enhanced responses to future events. Fire Chief Russell Brown and I are in agreement that the response to this incident was rapid, appropriate and handled in a professional manner. There are always specific areas with which we can improve but nothing First Responders did in this incident would have changed the outcome. 
The largest area for improvement brought forth from this incident is prevention. Our last two residential fires in Center were in older structures without apparent functioning fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Council Member Bill McClure approached me with the idea of supplying these items to Our Town. Ideas on how to fund this preventative measure were mentioned and I will be meeting with Town Manager Brian Lujan on ways to fund the project in the near future. We will never be able to prevent fires but warnings and alarms will reduce the potential for the loss of life. 
Finally, we will be having Coffee with the Chief on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 9am downstairs at the Center Methodist Church. I hope all of you can attend BUT please stay home if you are feeling ill or have been around others who are ill. We will be practicing safety precautions which will include social distancing, appropriate masks when not speaking and checking temperatures of attendees. I will be cleaning contact surfaces before and after the meeting. 
We have not been able to consistently hold these meetings and I miss giving out, and receiving information on public safety. The major topics of discussion at this meeting will be the hiring of Cadet Officer Cristian Guaderrama who competed against 58 applicants for his position, the movement forward with our canine program to include a discussion on our potential candidate, K9 Kit who is a 10 month old Belgian mix, and some of the statistical data from a three year review of the Center Police Department. 
Please take care, stay safe and I hope to see you on the 6th.

Chief Dale E Meek "Gene"
Center Police Department