Reform more important than government power

Freedom Newspapers As President Bush would have it, the choice is simple. Either Congress renews the USA Patriot Act intact, with all the new powers for government now scheduled to “sunset” at the end of year and a few new ones to boot, or America will be fighting terrorism with one hand tied behind its […]

Former exotic dancer graduates from law enforcement academy

By William Thompson: Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — Vivian Martinez, the former exotic dancer who won an $80,000 lawsuit settlement against the Tucumcari Police Department in August, has graduated from the Southeastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in Hobbs. Martinez, now a sheriff’s deputy with the Lea County Sheriff’s Department, was denied employment by the Tucumcari […]

Q&A: AG talks alcohol abuse prevention

Patricia Madrid is New Mexico’s attorney general. She was in Portales on Thursday to discourage alcohol consumption among students. Q How can law enforcement and the community help combat the problems of alcohol? A We know that for any program to be successful, we have to have the involvement of the entire community. We now […]

Police step up meth arrests

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Local law-enforcement officials have stepped up efforts to arrest producers and distributors of methamphetamine, issuing seven search warrants and making 12 arrests in the last 10 days. However, there still is a feeling the arrests are just the tip of the iceberg. “I do not expect this to […]

Legislative measure to reclassify tasers concerns law enforcement

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Sheriff Roger Hatcher is concerned about a bill moving through the state Legislature that would certify a taser as a deadly weapon, meaning that deputies could only use the device to counter deadly force by a subject. If passed, Hatcher said Tuesday, his department would have to go back […]

Police mum on IDs

Area law enforcement blocked off the intersections surrounding West 9th Street and South Avenue A Friday in Portales. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers Odis and Doris Newman have been missing since Wednesday and they are the owners of a Portales residence and vehicle that were burned on Thursday. But law-enforcement […]

Remember those who protect us this holiday

By Patricia Madrid: NM Attorney General The holiday season is here. Many of us are blessed to share this time with friends and families. As the state’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, I want to ask you at this special time to please take a moment to give thanks for those New Mexicans who work to […]

DA battles meth

Agents from the Region V Drug Task Force and narcotics officers from the New Mexico State Police catalog chemicals found when agents stopped a mobile methamphetamine laboratory in October 2002. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Yellow space suits, high-powered rifles and your parents screaming as some stranger drags them away. […]

Security agency candidate has plenty to prove

Freedom Newspapers At the top levels, law enforcement is mainly about management. That’s why we hope the Senate Government Affairs Committee confirmation hearings on Bernard Kerik closely examine whether he has the management skills to run the mammoth and labyrinthine Department of Homeland Security, the job for which he was nominated by President Bush. There’s […]

Melrose police chief retiring at end of month

By David Irvin A long-time area law enforcement official has announced his retirement as Melrose’s police chief, effective Dec. 31. Clarence “Gomer” Pyle, 61, who has been with the Melrose department for five years, dedicated 28 years of community service to the area. During his career, he worked with Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey and […]

New district attorney promotes aggressive programs

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler is sworn in by Judge Joe Parker on Monday at the Curry County Courthouse. (Staff photo: Rick White) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer New District Attorney Matt Chandler didn’t waste any time laying out his plans as the chief prosecutor in the 9th Judicial District on Monday after […]

Project Reader Reaction

Hail Judge Quinn! Plea was wrong District Judge Stephen Quinn on Monday rejected a plea agreement involving a man accused of shooting a Clovis police detective. Keith Bessette has recovered from his wounds and is now working with police in Iraq. Timothy Michael Burke, 52, is paralyzed from the chest down, a result of officers […]

Mother, cousins help take bite out of Clovis crime

Tim Morrison, Erica Carr-Romero (with her K-9 dog, Karlo) and Sheila Morrison work in law enforcement. CNJ photo by Rick White By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor On Sunday mornings, during breakfast at a Clovis restaurant, a family of law-enforcement personnel speaks in a code guests at surrounding tables don’t typically understand. Clovis Police dispatcher […]

Saturday dinner honors local law enforcement officials

Darrell Todd Maurina Three local law enforcement agencies have worked together to sponsor a citizens’ police academy for the last four years, graduating nearly 100 people from a program that focuses on teaching civilians how the police do their jobs. On Saturday night, a group of those graduates gathered to host a police appreciation dinner […]

Disbanding task force helps avoid another Tulia

Freedom Newspapers Nearly five years ago, the legal system committed a grave injustice against residents of the Texas Panhandle farming town of Tulia. An undercover lawman’s court testimony — uncorroborated by witnesses or any evidence — led to the arrests on drug charges of more than 40 people, nearly all of them black. It was […]

New assistant DA hired

Cops and Courts The 9th Judicial District has hired a new assistant district attorney to replace Matt Chandler, who is running against District Attorney Brett Carter in the June Republican primary. Michelle Olszta Reeves, 54, started March 1. She joins four assistant district attorneys in Clovis and two in Portales, not counting Carter’s own role […]

Retired police chief touched lives

By Michelle Seeber Nelson Worley was clever when it came to tracking down crime suspects. Once, police were chasing a man on foot when Worley circled around in his car, rolled the window down and said, “Hey, buddy, you need some help?” The guy jumped in the car — and Worley handcuffed him. So the […]

Fired assistant to run for district attorney’s post

Matt Chandler, right, laughs as he listens to Bennie Nieves, former chairman of the Republican Party in Clovis, talk about him Saturday during Chandler’s announcement to run for the district attorney position. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth. By Darrell Todd Maurina Matt Chandler wants to bring what he calls “a bold new vision” to the […]

Q and A: Career prosecutor makes way back home to Clovis

Matt Chandler, 28, an assistant district attorney in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, is one of the newer members of the local legal profession but he’s not new to the area. His great-great-grandfather was one of the community’s earliest settlers in 1908. His father spent 24 years in the Clovis Police Department, retiring as […]

Top cop wants new policing approach

New Mexico State Police Chief Carlos Maldonado, left, talks with Hank Baskett after Maldonado met with local law enforcement officers during Tuesday’s Clovis Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board Luncheon at the college. Photo:Eric Kluth By Darrell Todd Maurina State Police Chief Carlos Maldonado told area law enforcement officials and criminal justice students at Clovis […]