Ambassador Program

Photo of the Ambassadors.

 

About

APD’s Ambassador Program was created in the fall of 2020 and was designed to facilitate clear, consistent lines of communication with different groups within the community who have not previously had a voice with the police. Building trust with the community is a critical component to making the public safer.

When APD began recruiting officers to become Ambassadors for diverse groups within the community, there was tremendous interest and the unit continues to grow.

APD Ambassadors are expected to host at least one scheduled formal communication event each month and provide monthly briefings to Chief Medina. The Ambassadors outline topics of discussion and provide the department with suggestions in which APD can improve in community relations based on the conversations they are having with the different groups they are working with.

The Ambassadors are also required to arrange at least one lunchtime discussion with APD cadet classes and their designated community group.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Lt. Jennifer Garcia

Lieutenant Jennifer Garcia

Community Engagement Unit Supervisor

Lt. Jennifer Garcia is a Native Burqueña, raised on the west side of Albuquerque. She attended NMHU and UNM where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance. Prior to joining APD in 2003, she worked as a youth a family counselor at a local non-profit agency and shelter and also served as a treatment coordinator for a youth residential facility. Jennifer is currently assigned to the Community Engagement Section and oversees numerous units to include the Ambassador Program.

Contact Lt. Garcia: [email protected]

Officer Brett Garcia

Officer Brett Garcia

Faith Community Ambassador

Officer Brett Garcia has been a member with the Albuquerque Police Department since 2015. He was born in Tacoma, Washington and graduated from the University of New Mexico. He is currently working on completing his Master’s in Public Administration. Garcia is a husband, father, and man of Faith. He loves long walks in the desert and in his free time he enjoys archery, hunting, escape rooms, kettlebells, and eating way too many desserts.

Contact Officer Garcia: [email protected]

Headshot of Ambassador Mark Wells.

Officer Mark Wells

Faith Community Ambassador

Officer Mark Wells was born and raised in Albuquerque. He graduated from Highland High School in 2010 and has been a member of the Albuquerque Police Department since 2011. Wells is currently enrolled at Colorado Christian University to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact Officer Wells: [email protected]

Headshot of Officer Chase Jewell.

Officer Chase Jewell

LGTBQ+ Community Ambassador

Chase, a born and raised Albuquerque native, has been a member of the Albuquerque Police Department since 2018; and has served as a Police Officer since he has started with the department. Chase shares a passion for community-oriented policing and ensuring the safety of the public here in Albuquerque. He believes that the Ambassador Program is an essential element in restoring trust and rebuilding relationships with often forgotten about communities. While being an officer, he has obtained certifications in Enhanced Crisis Intervention (ECIT), he works with our Mobile Crisis Team as an alternate officer and is a member of the Emergency Response Team. Chase is also one of the Uniformed Public Information Officers. He holds a bachelor's degree in Public Communication and Political Science with a focus in Constitutional Law.

Contact Officer Jewell's: [email protected]

Headshot of Kalin Wood, Crime Scene Specialist III

Kalin Wood, Crime Scene Specialist III

LGTBQ+ Community Ambassador

Kalin Wood was born and raised just south of Albuquerque in Bosque Farms New Mexico. He is currently serving the Albuquerque community as a Crime Scene Specialist. He has a passion for giving a voice to victims of all walks of life. Before becoming a CSS with APD, Kalin served the Albuquerque community as a 911 dispatcher and trainer for six years. He believes that the Ambassador Program helps to bridge communication gaps in community and law enforcement relations. Kalin believes that APD truly has resources that could benefit all communities and he enjoys finding out what those needs of the community are and how APD can be a part of the solution.

Contact CSS Wood: [email protected]

Officer Emmanuel Solis

Officer Emmanuel Solis

Hispanic Community Ambassador

Officer Emmanuel Solis joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 2013. Officer Solis has volunteered to assist with different collateral duties within the department to include the PIO program for the Spanish stations and the Ambassadors program. Officer Solis’ Hispanic background has helped him better engage with the community.

Contact Officer Solis: [email protected]

Headshot of Ambassador Diomedes Cordoba

Officer Diomedes Cordoba

Hispanic Community Ambassador

Officer Diomedes Augusto Cordoba-Diplakis was born and raised in Panama. He is 100% proud of his roots and traditions. Officer Cordoba came to the Land of Enchantment in 2011 and has been with the Albuquerque Police Department since 2018. He is half Panamanian and half Greek. Officer Cordoba is bilingual certified by the department in Spanish, and he teaches the Spanish survival class for the cadets at the Academy.

Officer Cordoba is also currently assigned as a Bike patrol officer in the Foothills Area Command. Being Hispanic, he can understand the challenges and barriers of coming to a new country and making sacrifices to accomplish your goals and, in that way, being able to help the community in the best way possible. 

Contact Officer Cordoba-Diplakis: [email protected]

Headshot of Ambassador Jorge Villalobos

Officer Jorge Villalobos 

Hispanic Community Ambassador

Originally from the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, Officer Villalobos immigrated to the state of New Mexico in 1997 and has been a resident of the city of Albuquerque for over 20 years. After working 10 years as a district manager in the retail and restaurant industry, he transitioned to the Albuquerque Police Department in August of 2020 and is currently an officer with the Traffic Section, Motor Unit.

As a member of the Hispanic community, Officer Villalobos is aware of the struggles the community can face when interacting with law enforcement, whether they are due to the lack of information or because they are worried about their immigration status. As an Ambassador for the Hispanic community, his goal is to educate the members of the community and become a useful resource that Hispanic leaders and organizations can utilize to improve the safety within of community members.

Contact Officer Villalobos: [email protected]

Lt. Gerard Bartlett

Lieutenant Gerard Bartlett

Native American Community Ambassador

Lt. Gerard Bartlett has been a member of the Albuquerque Police Department since 2006 and has been a sworn law enforcement officer since May of 2011. Initially, he worked as a patrolman in the Field Services Bureau where he also held collateral duties as a Crisis Negotiation Team Member, Gang Suppression Officer, and Field Training Officer.

After promotion to the rank of Sergeant in September of 2017, Gerard was assigned to the Valley Area Command where he worked in the downtown Entertainment District during weekend operations. He then was assigned as a first line supervisor for almost three years with APD’s Central Narcotics Unit and Dangerous Drug Unit, which utilize undercover operations to dismantle drug trafficking organizations. He was then briefly assigned to the Violence Intervention Program prior to promoting a second time to the rank of Lieutenant.

He is currently assigned the Valley Area Command, where he works as a Watch Commander for grave shift. Gerard also holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New Mexico. He is married to the love of his life, has two young children, and two dogs.

Contact Lt. Bartlett: [email protected]

Sgt. Michael Rico

Sergeant Michael Rico

Native American and Asian Community Ambassador

Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidine’é, Michael Rico yinishyé. Hasht ł 'ishnii Nishlí dee chi łíí Tó Dine’é éí bashishchiin Kiyaa'áanii éí dashicheii dóó dee chi łíí Tó Dine’é éí dashinalí Ákót’éego diné nishłį́.

Sgt. Michael Rico was born in 1977 in Gallup, New Mexico and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. he grew up in the Mariano Lake-Pinedale, New Mexico area and attended boarding school in Mariano Lake, NM and graduated from Gallup High School in 1995. Go Bengals! Michael joined the Albuquerque Police Department in November 2007 (99th cadet class). He promoted to the rank of Sergeant in August 2021 and is currently assigned to the Northwest Area Command.

Michael entered the US Navy in June 1999 and retired in July 2021 after 21 years of service. He am a Military Veteran and served as an Intelligence Specialist to include combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a Master’s Degree of Education (2015) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Administration (2007). Rico is committed to serve and will strive to bring awareness to the strength and resilience of Native American and Asian people as their Ambassador for the Albuquerque Police Department. He actively seeks like-minded, goal-driven people to build a network of mutually beneficial relationships. He understands the importance of collaborating with others to look for ways to connect Law Enforcement with Indigenous and Asian communities locally and globally. He will seek methods to support and improve the community relationships to sustain Native American and Asian cultures and will continue to validate Tribal teachings by practicing traditional ways and participating in continuing to pay it forward for Indigenous and Asian Languages.

Contact Sgt. Rico: [email protected]

Officer Greg Valentino

Officer Greg Valentino

Refugee Community Ambassador

Officer Greg Valentino has been with the Albuquerque Police Department since 2019, and has worked as a police officer since 2002. Officer Valentino is here to assist you however he can and encourages members of the Refugee Community to reach out if they would like to build a relationship with the police department and to express concerns they are having.

Contact Officer Valentino: [email protected]

Lt. Juan Cabrera

Lieutenant Juan Cabrerra

Veteran Community Ambassador

Lt. Juan Cabrerra has been serving the Albuquerque community since 2003. Prior to his time with APD Juan was active duty U.S. Air Force in Albuquerque at Kirtland AFB.

Juan joined the Army National Guard for six years before transferring to the Air Force Reserves and is still serving. In total, he has been serving the community for 19 years and has been serving our great nation for 24 years. He was in combat for two tours, one to Iraq (OIF) and one to Afghanistan (OEF).

Contact Lt. Cabrerra: [email protected]

Sgt. Larry Middleton

Sergeant Larry Middleton

Veteran Community Ambassador

Sgt. Larry Middleton was born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico. He joined the Army 11 days after High School and served in the 82nd Airborne and was three years active duty.

Larry left the Army and got married to his High School sweetheart who was in the Air Force. He then joined her in the Air Force where he served four years Active Duty in Ramstien Germany. He did Non-Destructive Inspections on Aircraft. During his time in the Air Force he was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq.

Middleton left Active Duty in 2007 to join the Albuquerque Police Department. During his time with the department, he has done field work, Field Investigator work, Major Crime Scene Team work, and was promoted and went back to the field and now runs the Southwest Area Command’s Pro-active Response Team. This team is a community policing team. Middleton also runs the Albuquerque Police Department’s Lowrider Youth Leadership Program.

Contact Sgt. Middleton: [email protected]

Sgt. Pete Silva

Sergeant Peter Silva

Senior Citizen Community Ambassador

Sergeant Peter Silva joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 2005 and the Recruiting Unit in 2020. He joined the Ambassador program in 2021. During his career he has been a Field Investigator, Field Training Officer, Emergency Response Team Member, and has had collateral duties as a C.A.R.E Officer and Enhanced Crisis Intervention Officer.

Sergeant Silva was also a member of several community policing initiatives such as the Police and Communities Together Unit, and Proactive Response Team for the Downtown Public Safety District. He now oversees the Recruiting Unit full time.

Contact Sgt. Silva: [email protected]

Headshot of Ambassador John Holler

Officer John Holler

Senior Citizen Community Ambassador

John Holler was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. While attending Cibola High School he earned several state swimming titles, records and All American status. He went on to swim for Texas A&M and Arizona State University. After college he joined the New Mexico Air National Guard and started his career with the Albuquerque Police Department in 2017.

John spent the majority of his career assigned to the Field Services Bureau. As an officer, John learned one of his passions and strengths within the job was communicating. To strengthen this skill he has gone through Enhanced Crisis Intervention Training (ECIT) and earned his associate’s degree in Communication. Currently, he is assigned to the SWAT team within the Special Operations Division.

Contact Officer Holler: [email protected]

Officer Robert Duren

Officer Rob Duren

African American Community Ambassador

Officer Rob Duren has been with the Albuquerque Police Department since March of 1989. His current duty assignment is an Instructor at the Police Academy with the Advanced Training Unit. Officer Duren moved to Albuquerque in 1984 from Los Angeles, CA.

Contact Officer Duren: [email protected]

Headshot of Officer Hence Williams.

Officer Hence Williams

African American Community Ambassador

Officer Hence Williams was born and raised in Portland, OR. He attended Purdue University on a track and field scholarship and received a bachelor’s degree in Law and Society. Hence went on to earn a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from New Mexico State.

Officer Williams started his professional career as a social worker, working with mothers addicted to methamphetamine and mentoring with juvenile drug court. His career in law enforcement started in 2005 when he became a probation officer with the United States Probation and Pretrial Agency. After 12 years with this agency, he joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 2017 to be a police officer and be closer to family.

Contact Officer Williams: [email protected]

Officer Jeffrey Bludworth

Officer Jeffrey Bludworth

ADA Community Ambassador

Officer Jeff Bludworth joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 2012. He has served in all area commands, including bike patrol. He is Enhanced Crisis Intervention Certified and served in the Crisis Intervention Unit as a home visit detective and instructor. He is currently serving as an Advanced Training Instructor at the Albuquerque Police Academy and helped create a Self-Care Interactive Online Network (SCION) to promote officer wellness and resilience.

Officer Bludworth joined the Ambassador Program in 2021. He represents the Americans with Disabilities Community.

Contact Officer Bludworth: [email protected]

 

Officer Faith Vigil

Detective Faith Vigil

ADA Community Ambassador

Detective Faith Vigil is currently assigned to the Violence Intervention Unit and is an Ambassador for Americans with Disabilities. She chose this group because of her personal and professional experience. She found it important that our community members have someone from APD dedicated to advocating for them.

Prior to joining APD, Faith participated in fundraising and events for Special Olympics. Her aunt, who lived in her house for several years, is deaf and autistic. Detective Vigil is married with two kids who are learning sign language so that they are comfortable communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Her personal experiences have helped her become a better officer.

Contact Detective Vigil: [email protected]

Headshot of Ambassador David Nix

Officer David Nix

ADA Community Ambassador

Officer David Nix started with the Albuquerque Police Department in 2008. During his first five years, Officer Nix worked in the Field Services Bureau mostly in the Southwest and Southeast Area Commands where he served as a Field Training Officer. Eventually, he served as a detective in the Burglary Unit and Homicide Unit and then returned to patrol where he resumed his role as a Field Training Officer. After a few years, Officer Nix transferred to the Internal Affairs Division where he specialized in Use of Force Investigations. Most recently, he left Internal Affairs and is currently assigned to the SWAT Team in the Special Operations Division.

Contact Officer Nix: [email protected]

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