By Tova Fruchtman: Quay County Sun
Interim Police Chief Mark Radosevich gave a presentation at the City Commission meeting Thursday night on the roles the police department plays in the city of Tucumcari.
Radosevich said Friday that the presentation was not a critical review of the department. It was a means of relaying information to the city commissioners and the community on what the department does.
The role of the police department in Tucumcari is not simply law enforcement, he explained.
For example, showing a strong presence at the schools is something that is important to the community, so officers are required to spend 20 minutes a day (during down time) walking around the school area and making positive contact with faculty and students, Radosevich said.
Another example Radosevich gave of the department’s community involvement is the recent push for the Keep Tucumcari Beautiful Campaign.
In many police departments in larger cities, he said, a community clean-up involving compliance with city codes and ordinances would not be of concern to the police department; however, Radosevich said since the clean-up is a concern in the community the police would aid in the effort.
In an interview Friday, he explained that he did not want to turn law abiding citizens into criminals through this process; a statement reiterated by what he told the commissioners Thursday evening.
“It has to be community driven, but we have to play a role in it,” he said.
The police department is working out how to best serve the interests and needs of the community while still performing their role as law enforcement officials and staying within a budget, Radosevich said.
During the City Commission meeting he explained the various roles the department plays, as well as what types of sacrifices or money it will take to provide a certain level of service.
City commissioners listened attentively as Radosevich went through a Power Point presentation about the department — including information on staffing, training and duties.
He described what aspects of the department are working well and what aspects may need more attention.
“I’m very proud of the response time in this community,” he said. He said most of the time officers can respond to non-emergeny calls within 10 minutes, if not immediately.
Some concerns of both Radosevich and the city commissioners that questioned him following the presentation included the ability to retain officers, train them properly and provide them with the proper equipment to respond to the type of calls they are expected to respond to.
Radosevich explained that he wants to make sure that police officers are held accountable for doing a good job, but also ensure that they get the resources to perform their duties safely and correctly.
The city commissioners seemed to agree with Radosevich.
Following his presentation they questioned him about how to better retain and train officers.