By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Former Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher has been named Tucumcariï¿½s new police chief.
ï¿½Weï¿½re real excited to have him,ï¿½ Tucumcari City Manager John Sutherland said. Sutherland and the City Commission met Thursday evening in a closed session to discuss the position.
Because Hatcher was one of the final candidates selected when the city advertised for a new police chief in fall 2006, he was offered the position and it was not necessary for the comission to vote on his hire, Sutherland said. Sutherland has the commission’s authority to hire under certain circumstances.
Hatcher will replace Daniel Lopez who resigned Feb. 1. Lopez was with the department for four months. His last day is Feb. 14. He said heï¿½s accepted another job but has declined to provide more information.
Hatcher, who will be paid $53,000 a year, begins work on Tuesday, Sutherland said.
ï¿½I wanted to get there before Daniel left,ï¿½ so there would be smooth transition, Hatcher said.
ï¿½I feel itï¿½s a great opportunity,ï¿½ said Hatcher who was offered the job on Thursday, his 51st birthday. ï¿½Itï¿½s a young department; and itï¿½s an opportunity to help that department grow.ï¿½
Initially, Hatcher said he planned to learn what the important law enforcement issues were in Tucumcari and how the community wants to address them.
Hatcher is a 15-year veteran of the Curry County Sheriffï¿½s office who stepped down after eight years as sheriff in December 2006 because of term limits.
Hatcher has worked as a private contractor. He and several partners have built six duplex apartmentsin Clovis, he said. He also has a private investigatorï¿½s license and has worked on some cases, Hatcher said.