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June 2024

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Courtesy Photo Deanna stands in the center, posing with her colleagues after receiving the award

Represntando al Norte – June 2024: Deanna Aragon

Being raised in a community where your history connects to every part of your present, it’s difficult to find the courage to leave. It is similarly difficult to forge a path and stay.

Questa del Rio News is committed to highlighting different members of our community, both those who have created their paths and planted their own roots in the community that raised them, and also those who have pursued lives outside of the community—through our Representando series. This series is dedicated to those who are Representando al Norte in various facets of life.

For our June issue, we spoke with Deanna Aragon.

Maturity and responsibility was always a part of Deanna’s journey. She along with her sisters worked jobs in Red River in their teen years, learning the value of work ethic. Deanna had her son Daniel when she was 16 years old, and this meant she needed to establish her priorities and decide what was important for her future. She graduated from Questa High School in 2014 with honors and was already enrolled at the University of New Mexico in Taos where she obtained her Associates Degree.

She transferred to Las Vegas where she attended New Mexico Highlands University with the goal to obtain her bachelor’s degree, and soon after, transferred to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 2016. She graduated with her bachelor’s in criminology and a minor in philosophy. A year later she obtained her post-baccalaureate degree for Paralegal studies and became a certified victim advocate.
Through college, Aragon worked full time, carving out her experience working with victims of crimes through the Taos District Attorney’s Office, Crime Victims Reparation Commission, and with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. “I knew early on that I wanted to work with victims of crimes, and through my journey, opportunities keep pointing to this work,” Aragon says.

In the back of her mind, she always had an interest in being a detective and after a couple years of research, she decided to apply for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Regional Training Academy in 2019. “It was terrifying and there were moments where I had to ask myself what I was doing. I am a mom; I am supposed to be home with my kiddo,” she recalls.

After 24 weeks into the academy and only two left to go, Aragon suffered a devastating ankle break and torn ligaments. “I only had two weeks to go, and this happened. I had to drop out of the academy and was told if I wanted to do it, I would have to go through the entire 26 week academy again.”

Although devastated, Aragon remained resilient. In 2020 she applied for the police academy again. “I had a dream and I knew that if I wanted to achieve it, and if I wanted to be a good example for my son, I needed to pursue my dream with every ounce of determination I had.”

She completed the 26-week law enforcement academy and has been a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy since 2021. “I am going into my third year in law enforcement, and I have to be honest, it’s not easy. You encounter people on the hardest days of their lives and you have the power to remind them—maybe you made a mistake today. That makes it a bad day, not a bad life.”

Currently, Aragon is assigned to the Field Services Division where she is a Student Resource Deputy at a Collaborative Community School. A part of her duties requires her to respond to schools around the city for crimes committed against children, runaway cases, domestic violence cases, and crisis intervention cases. She is also assigned to the Gang Intelligence Recognition and Patrol Unit (GRIP), Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT), and Community Engagement Team (CET).

“Our work is very important because we’re in a time where people don’t trust the police. I appreciate being able to bring that connection to people to show them that there are good cops. Not everyone needs to be arrested, I want to help them turn their lives around. I can do that and show them that through my actions.”

Recently, Aragon was recognized for her dedication to the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.

Courtesy Photo Deanna Aragon and her son Daniel.