The Chaves County Republic Women sponsored a dinner, Tuesday, and a panel discussion so local citizens could voice their concerns to law enforcement.
The panel consisted of New Mexico State Police Capt. Dina Orozco, District Attorney Janetta Hicks of the 5th Judicial District, Chaves County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Britt Snyder, and Roswell Police Department Sgt. Tom Moody. A total of 94 people attended.
Retired New Mexico State Police officer K.C. Rogers of A.S.P.E.N. (Alternative Sentencing programs) acted as host, posing many of the questions that had been sent into CCRW by members of the public who were unable to attend.
Among the audience were Mayor Del Jurney, City Councilor Jeanine Best, Councilor Jason Perry, Deputy District Attorney Michael Murphy, Assistant District Attorney John Phinizy, Richard Lucero of Neighborhood Watch, CCSO Detective Dennis Kintigh and DA Investigator Pat Barncastle.
Each member of the panel was presented with an opportunity to explain their duties, their jurisdictions and the challenges facing their respective agencies. Manpower shortages and funding were the two most cited concerns.
Orozco told the audience that New Mexico State District 3 was the second largest in the state, covering Lea, Eddy and Chaves county with one officer per shift.
The 5th Judicial District covers the same three counties, “There is no rhyme nor reason. It’s not based on population or area … We have four offices in three different counties for an area of 14,650 square miles,” Orozco said.
She said during recent budget hearings it was announced that the District Attorney’s offices in the 5th Judicial District were the most understaffed in the state. The DA offices have half the staff required to handle their caseload. Each attorney averages 300 cases per year.
Snyder said the SO had 43 positions and were three short. The SO includes the Civil Court Division, which guards the court Login to read more