Tucumcari fires police chief

Freedom New Mexico

The City of Tucumcari has fired Police Chief Roger Hatcher, according to a press release.

Hatcher said Friday he received a letter from City Manager Bobbye Rose on Monday informing him of the decision. Hatcher was on paid administrative since Jan. 15.

Hatcher would only discuss one of the reasons for termination cited in the letter, saying he felt they were all weak.

“They said I never established a permanent residence in Tucumcari,” Hatcher said, “even though I lived at 2101 S. 1st. Street for 18 months.”

Hatcher said he believes Rose fired him to protect herself.

Attempts to reach Rose and other city officials for comment weren’t successful.

Hatcher said he has hired attorney John D’Amato of Albuquerque to fight the decision. D’Amato said he is still gathering information on the case and plans to meet with Hatcher next week.

“I take exception to the city’s actions on someone who has had such an affect in the community of Tucumcari,” D’Amato said.

Hatcher said the community has also been good to him and he has made a lot of friends. He said he believes city leaders do not support the police department.

“The city does not want someone in there to do what’s right,” Hatcher said. “They want someone that will do what they want.”

Hatcher was also placed on paid administrative leave July 6, after shooting 14-year-old Kailee Martinez with a Taser. After being cleared by internal investigation of any wrong, he was returned to duty July 29.

Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry is serving as Interim Administrator and Jason Braziel, an officer formerly assigned to schools, is serving as Interim Operations Commander until a chief of police is hired, according to the release.