Dennis Kintigh has spent much of his life seeing a side of the Roswell community some people often don’t.
Since January, Kintigh has worked for the Chaves County Sheriff’s Department as a detective. He’s currently working one homicide case, burglaries and a rape case.
He recalled the story of interviewing a young woman about a case recently. She was in her 30s, addicted to heroin and living in a hotel.
“It’s distressing and tragic that it’s out there. We need to confront issues we’re not confronting. One of those is drug addiction,” he said. “We need to come up with a way to try to deal with the hurting, broken people.
“It’s a great community, but it needs some help,” Kintigh said.
The father of two walked away from two engineering degrees and a Master of Science degree in computer science to enter four years of a military space program.
He then started working in Los Angeles for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which brought him and his wife to Roswell from the Washington, D.C., field office in 1992.
It was then that Kintigh started working with narcotics investigations.
“I spent the next 14 and a half years working primarily in drugs,” he said.
The Roswell office covered 25,000 miles of southeastern New Mexico territory.
After a brief time working in the oil fields, Kintigh entered state politics, serving two terms in the state Legislature.
After his last term ended, he asked to be hired as a detective.
In 2007, he and his wife served as youth pastors at First Baptist Church for 18 months.
“It was incredibly rewarding,” he said. “Young people today, I believe, are starving for authenticity. They want people to be upfront and candid.”
Between one term of Legislature, Kintigh also served as interim Roswell police chief in the fall of 2010.
“We have some incredibly fine police officers,” Kintigh said. “They called me chief and that’s about as biggest an honor as I could get.”
Kintigh remembered one nighttime call, when officers were involved in a gunfight and one officer pulled another out of harm’s way. He and the other officers made it a point to present a Medal of Valor to the officer during his shift one night.
“It’s amazing the things these guys do,” Kintigh said.
When not working, Kintigh and his wife, Carol, are both avid Crossfit enthusiasts who workout five days a week. The two are part of a local Crossfit Vision gym that is affiliated with a national company. The intensive program is more of a community that promotes overall physical fitness.
“It’s amazingly rewarding,” he said. “We’re all together. The community aspect of Crossfit is amazing.”
Kintigh’s son-in-law is a Crossfit trainer.
“We want to have that quality of life,” he said.
Kintigh is also a member of Roswell Rotary.
Kintigh still remembers first arriving in Roswell and the sense of community he and Carol felt.
When they flew into town, it was late at night, he said. They went to a local diner and they noticed that everyone was staring at them. He realizes now, it’s just the way people treat each other here.
“Complete strangers will look at you in the face,” he said. “And that’s what I like.”