Darrell Sanchez, Edgewood’s newest Police Chief, said he was drawn to the position because he thought his experience as a small-town police officer would make a great fit with the town of Edgewood.

“I love it,” he said. “I love the challenge; I love the community. The community is unbelievably supportive of law enforcement. I’ve learned very quickly, I mean it’s very common for people here to thank me for my service, and [they’re] very friendly. I just love it. It’s kinda like home to me, going home.”

Sanchez said he has 28 years of experience in law enforcement, and started in 1992 as a jailer, dispatcher, and animal control. He said in 1993 he went to the Police Academy within Grants Police Department, and then took on roles in Albuquerque, Sandoval County, and Bernalillo County.

Sanchez said he is “very lucky” that former Police Chief Ron Crow left him with such an excellent department and excellent officers.

“I learned very quickly that [Chief Crow] and I have a very similar personality on how things are important to us,” he said. “When I was in Bernalillo, one of my assignments was community policing. Again, that’s what attracted me to here because this community is very large into community policing and doing community events, and that’s part of my forte, some of the things that I excel at. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I haven’t been able to do any of those things, but I am so looking forward to being able to start doing those things again.”

Sanchez said that he doesn’t plan on changing much now that he’s chief, but would someday like to create a detective position.

“Not that we have a lot of investigative crimes,” he said, “but sometimes officers are working nightshifts, or working graveyards, that type of thing, and don’t have the ability to follow up on cases during the daytime hours, obviously because they’re sleeping. I think it would be very beneficial to have somebody there to follow up.”

Sanchez said that while it might be cliché to say, the profession of being a police officer is to protect and serve the community. He said the saying holds true today just as much as it did when law enforcement started.

“My door is always open to the public,” he added. “If they would like to come in and talk, I am always here for the public to sit and chat, whether it be just for a cup of coffee or a complaint that they have.”