Police Chief Lopez resigns

By Chelle Delaney

Tucumcari Police Chief Daniel Lopez has resigned effective Feb. 14, City Manager John Sutherland said Tuesday.
Lopez is resigning to take the law enforcement job of a lifetime and at a higher rate of pay, Sutherland said.
Sutherland would not disclose which agency would be employing Lopez.
“I haven’t been able to talk him out of it,” Sutherland said.
Lopez could not immediately be reached for comment.
Since Lopez joined the force four months ago he has staffed the department and made improvements, Sutherland said.
The City Commission will be meeting in a closed executive session to discuss the chief of police job at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.
Prior to hiring Lopez, the city had recruited applicants and has a pool of candidates that it will use to fill the position, Sutherland said.
Lopez, a retired New Mexico State Police captain, joined the Tucumcari Police Department on Oct. 1 as a volunteer law enforcement consultant following his retirement in late September. Lopez was unable to be sworn in as chief in October because of a 90-day separation requirement by PERA, or Public Employees Retirement Association.
Lopez, whose annual salary was set at $53,000, was sworn in as chief on Jan. 1.