Community Outreach

Community Liaison Officer

Charli Velasco is the Las Cruces Police Department's Community Liaison Officer. He is available to provide area grade school children with tours of LCPD's Station on Picacho Avenue and the East Mesa Public Safety Complex on Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. Velasco can also offer safety tips and answers questions that children may have.

Velasco oversees the Neighborhood Watch program, the McGruff program, Ident-a-Child and the Las Cruces Police Department's annual National Night Out and fundraisers for the Special Olympics.

Contact Velasco by email if you are interested in participating in one of these programs.

LGBTQ+ Police Liaison

LCPD is a diverse and welcoming department that seeks to embrace all members of our community. Lt. Joy Wiitala is the department's LGBTQ+ Liaison and serves as an accessible and friendly contact who can elevate law enforcement related LGBTQ concerns to the Chief of Police and other City officials. Lt. Wiitala can be reached via email or by phone at (575) 528-4730.

National Night Out

LCPD annually participates in the National Night Out campaign where officers and administrators are available to meet and chat with citizens. Numerous civic groups and organizations, businesses and other law enforcement agencies also participate to collectively show their pride in the community. LCPD and other law enforcement agencies are available to discuss their crime and drug prevention programs.


The Ident-A-child program is regularly requested by schools, business, and other organizations. The program collects fingerprints and other identifying information that is recorded onto an ID card and is then provided to the child’s parents for their records.

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is a community policing partnership program that rapidly expanded nationwide in the 1970s to combat significant increases in residential crime. Neighborhood Watch depends on citizen involvement to discourage crime and reduce the fear of crime, by taking an active role in immediately reporting to police any unusual activities or suspicious behavior.

Keeping Our Community Safe

LCPD believes that strong Neighborhood Watch programs are beneficial in keeping our community safe. LCPD Community Liaison Officer Charli Velasco can help answer questions and speak at Neighborhood Watch group meetings.

Getting a Group Started

  • Speak to the neighbors in your area to discuss interest and plan a Neighborhood Watch "Start-Up" meeting.
  • Contact the Community Liaison Officer, Charli Velasco, by email or call 575-741-5895 to schedule the meeting.
  • Once the meeting has been scheduled, use your neighbors to promote and stimulate interest in the event.


A group must have a Neighborhood Watch "Start-Up" Meeting with the Community Liaison Officer. At the end of the start-up meeting, a Neighborhood watch activation will be completed and signed by the primary and secondary Block Captains. Groups must have a minimum of one meeting per year including the community liaison officer (although more than one meeting a year is recommended). Maintain an open line of communication with the community liaison officer when necessary.


There are no required costs to start a neighborhood watch group. Once a group is established, the city will install and maintain street-side Neighborhood Watch signage as long as the group stays active. The signs are subject to removal if a group becomes inactive. Additional signage and products are available. Neighborhood Watch products such as the following can be purchased by residents or groups interested in starting or enhancing a Neighborhood Watch program:

  • Decals
  • Handbooks
  • Signs
  • Starter Kits
  • Stickers

Products can be found on the National Neighborhood Watch Institute website.


There are many benefits to participating in a Neighborhood Watch program. Beyond preventing crime and reducing fear, Neighborhood Watch builds pride, forges bonds among block residents, improves citizen/police relations, and can address other block issues and concerns like child safety, youth development, senior citizen welfare and the overall quality of life. 


Participants receive an excellent, on-going education from police on many topics including:

  • Basic crime prevention measures to safeguard you, your home and valuables
  • Being vigilant, cooperative surveillance and recognizing suspicious activity
  • Direct telephone contacts to police agencies
  • Experts to speak, instruct or train at your block get together
  • Frequent patrol checks on temporarily vacated homes
  • How to deal with suspected drug activity
  • How to handle city ordinance “nuisance” violations
  • How to have graffiti removed or cleaned

Setting up a Neighborhood Watch Program

Residents of Las Cruces, those who reside within city limits, may contact the Las Cruces Police Department for assistance in setting up a Neighborhood Watch program. Community Liaison Officer Charli Velasco will assist in providing information that is helpful in establishing a successful Neighborhood Watch program.


Also, please remember: You are not being asked to take personal risks. Your participating in a Neighborhood Watch program is to serve as extra “eyes and ears” for the police and each other and to promptly report information on crimes and suspicious activities in your neighborhood.

Special Olympics

The Ident-A-child program is regularly requested by schools, business, and other organizations. The program collects fingerprints and other identifying information that is recorded onto an ID card and is then provided to the child’s parents for their records.


Each year the Las Cruces Police Department participates in the Tip-A-Cop fundraiser that features officers serving food, filling drinks and collecting donations on behalf of Special Olympics. Proceeds from the Tip-A-Cop evening are donated to New Mexico Special Olympics.

Torch Run

Las Cruces Police officers join other area law enforcement agencies in raising funds for Special Olympics in the annual Torch Run. Officers from area law enforcement agencies annually begin the run in Sunland Park, NM, and head north to Las Cruces where they rally with Special Olympics athletes. The Torch Run then continues heading north to Albuquerque where the Special Olympics Games have held annually each May.

LCPD runners sell Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirts, pins and wrist bands. All proceeds are given to Special Olympics where they help pay for travel and other expenses.