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Police Chief Don Raley stands with ArieYannah and Zaphaera Fletcher and their parents, LaShelle and Lane Fletcher, at Tuesday’s city council meeting. The girls were awarded plaques by Raley for their Subway gift card donation to the Artesia Police Department. (Courtesy Photo)

Police Chief Don Raley stands with ArieYannah and Zaphaera Fletcher and their parents, LaShelle and Lane Fletcher, at Tuesday’s city council meeting. The girls were awarded plaques by Raley for their Subway gift card donation to the Artesia Police Department. (Courtesy Photo)

The Artesia City Council meeting Tuesday was an emotional one.

During comments from public officials, Police Chief Don Raley awarded plaques to members of the community who have aided the Artesia Police Department.

One plaque was awarded to Eli Saenz, representative of McDonald’s in Artesia, for assisting with Coffee with Cops, an event where citizens of Artesia are able to converse with APD officers. Raley also awarded two plaques to ArieYannah Fletcher and Zaphaera Fletcher for donating Subway gift cards to the APD.

“The two little girls were concerned about our officers’ safety due to current events that are being broadcast in the media,” said Leticia Gomez, police clerk with the APD. “They felt if they helped keep the officers healthy, they would be safer doing their jobs.”

In other business, the council approved the purchase of five vehicles for the APD. The vehicles include three full-sized SUVs, one truck, and one 15-person transport van for a total of $242,083.96. These five vehicles will replace five others which are being retired.

The Artesia Drug & Crime Coalition and the 7024U Youth Outreach Program were also pleased to announce the combining of the two organizations into one. The new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is called the Changing Lives Coalition.

“We’re very excited for this merger,” said Sarah Mitchell, president of the organization. “We’re working hard to provide what we can for kids and teens who are in need.”

The council also approved the promotion and hiring of five people at Tuesday’s meeting. Michelle McConnaughy of the APD was promoted to Evidence Tech II. The four people who were hired included Reydesel Flores and Michael Garcia as technicians for the city’s water department and Arturo Alfaro and Samuel Lara as equipment operators for the city’s solid waste department.