Following a string of statements expressing support for Truth or Consequences Police Department (TCPD) Chief Randall Aragon shared by citizens during public comment at the city commission’s September 10 regular meeting, commissioner George Szigeti confirmed the chief was currently on administrative leave.
Public statements offered to the board were apparently responding to what had been defined as unsubstantiated rumors by city manager Morris Madrid
late last week. At that time, Madrid said no action had been taken against Aragon, but confirmed he was in the process of interviewing police department staff to better discern what, if any, issues were present and if further attention would be required.
The result of this investigation obviously led Madrid to a decision to suspend Aragon, while a final determination regarding the incident, or incidents that prompted the action and potential disciplinary measures is being formalized.
During public comment, no statements were made regarding the police chief ’s apparent transgressions, however, eight community residents stood up to offer support for Aragon and praise for his interactions with the community since joining the TCPD in 2018. Several speakers urged commissioners to consider the many positive programs and initiatives generated or supported by Aragon, and to set aside “political” issues that could perhaps be obscuring a proper view of his overall performance as police chief.
After receiving public comments, mayor Sandra Whitehead emphasized Aragon is an employee of the city. She went on to note how the commission hired the city manager and oversees his actions, and how they would now be relying upon Madrid to appropriately address concerns within the TCPD. As previously noted, commissioner Szigeti was the only board member to acknowledge that Aragon was indeed on administrative leave, and that his status with the city was awaiting Madrid’s final determination.