ALAMOGORDO – The off-duty Alamogordo Police Department (APD) officer who was allegedly involved in an incident at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center has been terminated by the department Tuesday.
APD officer Kyle Graham is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police after an alleged incident between Graham and individuals at GCRMC Sept. 24. In 2017 Graham was named Officer of the Year for Otero County.
APD opened their own investigation of the incident on Sept. 27 in conjunction with the ongoing NMSP investigation.
“We served him (Graham) with termination paperwork,” Chief Brian Peete said. “There were concerns about private conduct, professional conduct and potential criminal conduct, and how it happened.”
In an article published in the Sept. 29 Daily News, according to sources and witnesses at GCRMC at the time of the incident who wish to remain anonymous stated the officer was at the hospital when a situation escalated and required the intervention of law enforcement officers.
The officer was there with his family and the problem magnified through the family, according to anonymous sources and witnesses.
Peete said while the criminal investigation was turned over to State Police, APD was looking at the administrative issues in their internal investigation.
“Based on what our internal investigation found was that it was a violation of policies that would seriously bring damage and legitimacy issues to the police department,” he said.
In an email to the Daily News, NMSP spokeswoman Lt. Elizabeth Armijo wrote no charges have been filed against the officer.
After the NMSP completes their investigation of the Sept. 24 incident, NMSP investigators will turn the case over to the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office because Alamogordo’s 12th Judicial DA’s Office has recused themselves from the case.
“We don’t know if they’ve (10th DA) gotten NMSP’s competed investigative file on the incident yet or not,” Peete said. “We don’t have any idea if or when any charges are going to come.”
Graham has seven days to appeal his termination. He would submit his appeal to Chief Peete as per the department’s policy.
“I would hear what he has to say then I am obligated within seven days to provide a response whether it’s to uphold or change the discipline or anything to that affect,” Peete said. “If he still wants to appeal the discipline handed down at that point, he would appeal to the city manager that would be the last stop in the disciplinary process.”
He said the department is all about transparency without violating the individual’s privacy rights and the privacy of those involved while upholding the union contract.
“It’s an unfortunate situation all around,” Peete said. “Anytime it happens with a police officer or anyone within the department, it’s a sad thing. It’s very discouraging, disappointing thing that happens. Especially when we have an officer, in Kyle’s case, when we have such a strong officer who was officer of the year in 2017.”
He said Graham has done a lot of good work for the department.
“It’s a lot of peers within the federal, local and state side that speak volumes of his work,” Peete said. “Unfortunately, it’s just an unfortunate situation for him and his family as well as a loss for the city.”
Daily News reporter Dylan Taylor-Lehman contributed to this story.
©2018 the Alamogordo Daily News (Alamogordo, N.M.)
Visit the Alamogordo Daily News (Alamogordo, N.M.) at www.alamogordonews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.