Eight candidates seek police chief job

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Some of the top ranked candidates for police chief were interviewed Friday, said city manager John Sutherland.

Additional candidates are to be interviewed on Monday, said Sutherland at Thursday’s City Commission meeting.

Except for one, all of eight candidates who have applied for the position are from the Tucumcari area.

Roger J. Hatcher, project superintendent of La Casa de Puesta Del Sol, LCC, in Clovis is the only candidate from outside the Quay County area, according to a list of applicants from the city.

The other seven candidates are:
l Officer Pablo Benavidez, Logan Police Department
l Officer Willis (Jack) Hendrickson, Tucumcari Police Department
l Capt. Daniel Lopez, New Mexico State Police
l Acting Lt. Patricia Lopez, Tucumcari Police Department
l Sgt. Lloyd Maestas, retired Tucumcari Police Department
l Sgt. Peter Rivera, Tucumcari Police Department
l Nathan Wallace, Retired. New Mexico State Police.

“The quality of the candidates is very good,” Sutherland said. Although he did not disclose the candidate, Sutherland also said.

“Early in the process one candidate does standout as particularly well-qualified with an excellent reputation and leadership capability.”
Lt. Deputy Ron Haley, who was serving as acting police chief, resigned on Aug. 10.

Haley, who joined the force in October 2006, was selected as acting police chief, when Police Chief Larry Ham resigned in mid-July. He had been chief for two years.

Sutherland has said that he hopes to make a selection as soon as possible.

Until a new chief is chosen, Mike Cherry, the city’s Fire Chief, is acting as senior manager in charge of the Police Department on a day-to-day basis, Sutherland said.