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GPD promotes three officers

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GPD chief: ‘More promotions’ coming

Three officers from the Gallup Police Department were promoted Aug. 15 by new city Police Chief Phillip Hart during a formal ceremony at Gallup Municipal Court.

The promoted employees were patrol officers Nicola Martinez, Terrance Peyketewa, and Anthony Seciwa. The officers were all promoted to the rank of sergeant.

“I am very proud to promote three of our police officers to the rank of sergeant,” Hart said in a brief introduction. “These are people who work for you.”

Martinez is originally from Haystack, and is an eight-year police department veteran who graduated with a criminal justice degree from New Mexico State University.

“I want to thank the people here for all that they’ve taught me,” Martinez said, mentioning colleague Andy Yearly and Lt. Pat Salazar of the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. “I’ve always looked up to people – people I believe are great leaders.”

Martinez, like the other officers, received a pin —in Martinez’s case, it was placed on her uniform by her nephew, Tonee Slockish.

Terrance Peyketewa is from the Zuni Pueblo and has been a Gallup officer for 11 years. Peyketewa thanked his family for support and encouragement over the years.

“It can be a very tough job, but having the support of family is important,” he said.

Seciwa is also from Zuni Pueblo. He carries 26 years of law enforcement experience, with 12 of those years as an officer with the GPD.

“This job isn’t for everybody,” Seciwa said. “Those who do work the job truly love it.”

Hart, who was hired as chief a little over a month ago, said there are currently 67 sworn officers at the department. Ideally, he’d like to hire anywhere from eight to 10 new officers.

The chief said the public can expect “more in-house promotions” in the near future. Erin Toadlena-Pablo was the most recent GPD officer to be promoted.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent