NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The small northern New Mexico village Taos Pueblo just made history. They appointed their first female and youngest police chief to lead their police department.
KRQE spoke with the new Taos Pueblo Police Chief Summer Mirabal. The 29-year-old hopes as the new chief, she can make a difference and inspire others as she serves and protects her community. “When people need anything, we’re going to be there for them and that’s going to be what I’m going to fight for the most,” said Mirabal.
Mirabal grew up and still lives in Taos Pueblo. She’s been a patrol officer for the village for the last five years and also served in the military for a couple of years before that. Her experience helped her secure the police chief position back in May after a grueling interview process with the Tribal Council. The single mother of two is now in charge of overseeing 10 officers, four detention staffers, and protecting the nearly 2,000 people that live in the village.
“I believe they chose me for the position because I care about my community extremely,” said Mirabal. “I’m not in it for the money, I’m there because I care about my community, I grew up in Taos Pueblo and I’m a natural-born leader.”
Her goal as chief is to gain the trust of the community back and to do a better job of working with various community programs. Mirabal also said one of her main focuses will be addressing the alcohol and drug issues that she says have been plaguing the community for years. “Getting those people taken care of and not just incarcerating them and that’s it,” said Mirabal. “We want to get them into rehab programs, we want to give them the help that they need.”
She said there is plenty of work to be done but is excited for the challenges that lie ahead and hopes her time as chief will inspire the younger generation to be even better. “For all those young native kids out there that don’t know what they’re going to do with their life or they need somebody to look up to, I hope I can be that person and that positive role model for them,” said Mirabal.
On top of being police chief, Mirabal owns and operates an outdoor gym as well called “Free World Fitness Taos.”
The Taos Pueblo has been closed to the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.