Identity of Santa Fe's mystery police chief revealed

Updated: 02/10/2014 2:08 PM | Created: 02/08/2014 10:51 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Santa Fe Police came to KOB Eyewitness News 4 on Friday with an odd request.

They gave KOB a photo of a man who was once the Santa Fe Police chief.

Police administrators did not know his name and hoped someone in the community could help identify the man in the photo.

Saturday, a family came forward saying they know exactly who he is.

For Alfonso Larragoite, there is no mystery to the photo.

"He was my father," Larragoite said. "He was born in Valarde, New Mexico."

The man wearing the Santa Fe Police uniform is Armando Larragoite.

"Oh, he was a damn good police officer," Larragoite said. "The police department as a whole loved him."

Armando died in 1971 at the age of 82.

In fact, the photo on his obituary is the exact same as the portrait that the Santa Fe Police found stored in a dusty basement this week.

Alfonso Larrogoite, who is now a senior citizen himself, says his father was part of Santa Fe’s social elite throughout the 30s and 40s.

This was at a time when Santa Fe was no more than 10,000 people.

"He was always looking to make sure that the school age children around the neighborhood attended school," Larragoite said.

The elder Larragoite was also the Santa Fe undersheriff, a city councilman and a member of the school board.

Armando Larragoite left a legacy.

In fact, an elementary school in Santa Fe is named after him.

"When they built that school, then the members of the board and the people of Santa Fe as a whole said that school should be named Larragoite School," Larragoite said.

As time passed, most have forgotten about the former police chief.

But the memories are still very much alive for his son, who remembers his father and one of Santa Fe’s city leaders. 

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