Primary candidates speak out: COUNTY  SHERIFF

May 15, 2014 • Local News

RDR: Tell us a little about your background. Where were you born and raised, your education, current and previous employment. Please include the names of any businesses you may own or have owned and any companies or government agencies you may have worked for.


BARNCASTLE: I was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. After earning a bachelor’s of science degree from NM State University, I began my law enforcement career by joining the NM Department of Game and Fish and graduating from the NMDPS Law Enforcement Academy in June of 1976. In 1983, I was promoted to district supervisor and came to Roswell.

In 1989, I was promoted to assistant area chief as the head of Law Enforcement Division for not just one county, but 10 counties throughout southeastern New Mexico. After retiring from the Department of Game and Fish, I was hired by District Attorney Tom Ruttledge and continued my law enforcement career as the senior investigator for the NM 5th Judicial District Attorney’s office. After only two years on the job I was promoted to lead investigator, a position I have held for the past eight years.


FLEMING: I was born in Roswell on Sept. 21, 1972. I graduated high school, have been to many technical training courses and have completed the New Mexico Mounted Patrol Law Enforcement Academy. I have also received my Professional Lecturer in General Instruction Certificate from the NM LEA.

I currently work for the gas company and have for the last 20 years. I have been a supervisor for the last nine years.

My wife and I currently own and operate a civil process service company, Advantage Process Serving. We serve papers in civil matters to multiple counties.


GRAVES: My name is Gary W. Graves. First, I’m a Christian and because of my Lord’s sacrifice I have salvation and eternal life. I was born and raised in Roswell to Cecil and Mary Graves. I attended school and graduated from Goddard High School.

I began my law enforcement career with the Hagerman Police Department in 1982. I worked all phases of law enforcement from basic patrol, criminal investigations, and narcotics. I advanced to the position of elected sheriff. I received multiple awards that included a citation by Governor Bruce King for service above and beyond the call of duty, Life Saving Award. I continued until I retired with 21 years of service.

I attended and completed the National Sheriffs Institute, which is reserved for elected sheriffs only. I’m a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Association. I’m a strong supporter of our Constitution and will not accept federal money. I will stand on the Constitution and I will not allow the government to infringe upon our constitutional rights such as the Second Amendment.


SNYDER: I am a native New Mexican having grown up in Reserve, NM, in Catron County. I was born in Springerville, Ariz., because this was the closest hospital to Reserve. Other than the day or so they held me against my will in Arizona, I have only lived in New Mexico.

I am the youngest of six children and I believe that gives me a special edge at crisis intervention. My father was employed fulltime with the U.S. Forest Service and retired after 29 years.

We grew up hunting and fishing in the Gila National Forest. My father was also a Baptist minister and ministered for 30-plus years at the Baptist church in Datil, NM, while we lived in Reserve. My parents moved to Datil after my father retired. Over the years we have celebrated many family weddings and funerals in that small church to include both of my parents and two of my siblings.

I graduated from Reserve High School in 1982 and began working for the Catron County Sheriff as a dispatcher/jailer soon after. I continued working in the jail until I became a deputy in April of 1986. I became a certified police officer in New Mexico in July of 1986. I worked under two sheriffs in Catron County and served all of 1987 and ’88 as the chief deputy there.

I was hired as a deputy here in Chaves County in November of 1989 and I have spent the last 24-plus years serving in the Sheriff’s Office.

• Assigned as a patrol deputy for first five years

• DARE Officer (Drug Abuse Resistance Education); instructing elementary school level, middle school level, parent level – 5 years

• Character Counts instructor

• Twice chosen Chaves County Sheriff’s Office Officer of the Year

• Promoted to sergeant in 1994, where I supervised the Patrol and Civil divisions

• Promoted to lieutenant in 1997 and supervised all divisions for many years

• Comprehensive Strategy board member since it’s inception (approximately 12 years)

• Created our current Field Training Officer Program

• Created our current Accident/Incident Review process for employees

• Assigned as administrative lieutenant 2009 supervising Court/Civil Division

• Partner in writing all current policies and procedures for the department

• Attended FBI National Academy 2001

• Recognized by Character Counts in Chaves County for helping the program – 2014

• Promoted to chief deputy 2013

My wife Jean and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on May 28. We have four children and one grandchild who just turned 10. She is my favorite. I have two sons currently enrolled in Roswell High.


RDR: What do you think are two or three of the biggest challenges facing the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office? What would you do to improve the department?


FLEMING: The lack of working relationships with other law enforcement agencies within our county and providing enough training to existing deputies

Here are my proposed solutions: Communication. If our deputies see a command staff that is Login to read more

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