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No details released in San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy's on-duty death

The Sheriff's Office made the announcement on Feb. 19

Joshua Kellogg   | Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The San Juan County Sheriff's Office announced last week that a deputy died while on duty in what Sheriff Shane Ferrari described as a tragic incident. 

Ferrari wrote on social media that the agency does not release public information on this type of incident.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office posted a statement from Ferrari on its Facebook page at 8:31 a.m. on Feb. 19 saying that on Feb. 18, the agency “lost a deputy in an on duty (non-duty related) isolated incident.”

“We live in a tightly knitted community that supports law enforcement and cares for us, as we care for you,” Ferrari said in a Facebook post. “I ask during this time you respect our deputy’s family’s privacy. Please keep them and our law enforcement family in your thoughts and prayers.”

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The agency, in another Facebook post on Feb. 19, thanked the community for an outpouring of support and love.

When asked what San Juan County’s policy is regarding a workplace death at the Sheriff’s Office, Devin Neeley, San Juan County spokesman, declined to answer and referred all questions regarding deputies to the law enforcement agency.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to answer questions submitted by The Daily Times regarding the incident on the morning of Feb. 22.

“As an elected official, the Sheriff has the authority to create policy governing matters with his deputies,” Neeley said in an email.

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Neeley did share a statement from San Juan County Commission Chairman John Beckstead on the incident.

“San Juan County is mourning the loss of a long-time employee and dedicated law enforcement professional,” Beckstead said in a statement. “We grieve with the family and the rest of our community. Our focus right now is the family and colleagues of the fallen deputy to support them in this difficult time.”

Donations sought for deputy's family

The Sheriff’s Office on the night of Feb. 18 updated its Facebook profile picture to an image of a black mourning band across a deputy’s badge. 

The Aztec and Farmington police departments updated the profile picture on its Facebook pages to the same image.

The Sheriff’s Office shared a PayPal link if anyone in the community wished to donate to the family of deputy at or

The donations are being processed by the local non-profit Guardian Initiatives with all the funds going to the family.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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