The San Juan County Crime Stoppers program was formed in 1977. The first coordinator of the program was Captain Don Mangino of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. In 1978, Aztec Police Detective Sergeant Leroy Cruz was assigned as coordinator. Leroy is known as the driving force behind the early Crime Stoppers program. He was nationally recognized for his willingness to help other programs get their start based on the model San Juan County Crime Stoppers program. He was named Coordinator of the Year by Crime Stoppers USA in 1983. Even though he resigned as coordinator when he was appointed Aztec Police Chief in 1986, he continually supported the program until his untimely death in 1992. Aztec Police Detective Sergeant Lester Rapp served successfully as coordinator for the years following Leroy's tenure. In 1996, the program named its first civilian coordinator, Darlene McConnell. Darlene remained coordinator until her retirement in 1999. Although she was active in the coordinator position for three years, she faithfully served the program as executive secretary for ten years prior to her coordinator appointment - for a combined total of thirteen years of service to Crime Stoppers. Since 1999, the coordinator and newly established executive director position has been filled by San Juan County employees working closely with the Board of Directors, the law enforcement coordinators and the media.
The San Juan County Crime Stoppers Board of Directors has had many members throughout the years. The combined talents of those individuals have helped to make Crime Stoppers what it is today. From the originating to the present members, their dedicated volunteer service to the program should not go unmentioned. Although individual recognitions would be too numerous to list, a special thanks for their part in the historical success of the program is in order.
October 1, 2006 marked the 30th Anniversary of Crime Stoppers. The 27th Annual Crime Stoppers International Training Conference was held in Albuquerque, where Crime Stoppers all began. The Executive Director for San Juan County Crime Stoppers, Sgt. Pat Cordell, Farmington Police Coordinator, Officer Albertine Fowler, Bloomfield Police Coordinator, Sgt. Jerry Blake, Aztec Police Coordinator, Det. Sgt. Lisa Haws, San Juan County Sheriff's Office Coordinator and Lt. Tyler Truby, Sheriff's Office Coordinator, were all present for the Training Conference. This was a week of training, learning and meeting other members of Crime Stoppers from all over the world. San Juan County Crime Stoppers would like to recognize those programs that followed the example of Greg MacAleese in 1976.
Crime Stoppers appreciates the continued support from the public and looks forward to our continued partnership and coordination with the news media and law enforcement.