Doña Ana County



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A Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy received the highest award bestowed upon a civilian on behalf of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, Lodge 1119.
Deputy Michelle Ugalde was named Citizen of the Year Friday night, March 29, according to Al Lambeth, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Elks Lodge. The award was presented during the Elks’ 66th Officers Installation dinner, an event normally open only to members of the group. Sheriff Todd Garrison also was in attendance.
According to Lambeth, the Citizen of the Year award is given to those who display exemplary service to the community.
“Michelle’s dedication to her job and the youth of this county is truly outstanding,” Lambeth said. “The Elks Lodge has historically stood behind this community to support anti-DWI and drug prevention efforts like the ones promoted by Deputy Ugalde and the sheriff’s department.”
Ugalde has been instrumental in partnering with the Elks Lodge on programs such as the United Prevention Coalition and Shattered Lives (also known as Every 15 Minutes), an annual simulation at area high schools that teaches students and their families the emotional and sometimes fatal consequences of driving drunk.
The Elks Lodge has also pledged financial support for the Ident-a-Child network of child DNA identification, and presented the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department with a $1,000 donation Friday night to be used in the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program and the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.
The Elks Lodge was established in Las Cruces in 1937 and has more than 200 members locally. Through its 48 life members, the organization has contributed more than 1,600 years of service to Las Cruces and communities throughout Doña Ana County.
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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Public Information Communication Specialist Kelly Jameson at (575) 386-4302.