Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Police chief chosen

David Lathrom of Kansas to start Feb. 14.


January 25, 2017

The Tucumcari Police Department will be under the direction of new Police Chief David Lathrom beginning Feb. 14, according to City Manager Jared Langenegger.

“I’m excited to make the transition and take over the department in Tucumcari,” Lathrom said, adding that there is a great deal of potential for the city and the department, and he is looking forward to working with the officers and the residents.

“The police department should be part of the community and have their interest at heart,” Lathrom said. “If we are not working with the people, then we are not doing our job. Working for the best interest of the community is the purpose of the police department.”

Langenegger said three applicants, Lathrom of Kansas, TPD Deputy Chief Pete Rivera and Rodrick Saint of Florida were considered by the selection committee.

“Myself and the rest of the department will do all that we can to accommodate the new police chief and make his transition as smooth as possible,” Rivera said.

The committee was made up of Langenegger, Human Resource Director Shannon Shay, Quay County Under Sheriff Dennis Garcia and New Mexico State Police Lt. Bert Hinders.

“We are pleased with the applicants that we had for this position,” Langenegger said. “It was a hard choice to make, but the committee feels they made the best choice for the city.”

Langenegger said Lathrom has more than 30 years of combined law enforcement experience. He said Lathrom’s diverse background and knowledge of law enforcement is what the young department needs.

Langenegger said currently TPD has two patrol officer openings and two Sergeant openings. He said filling the vacancy of police chief has helped to reduce the shortage of supervising officers at the department.

Langenegger said there are younger officers, who have been hired at the department. He said those officers will be tested to promote from within, but the city may have to look outside the department to hire supervisors.

Lathrom will be filling the vacancy following the retirement of Jason Braziel in December 2016. Braziel announced his retirement plans in November. He had served 24 years in law enforcement, including seven as Tucumcari’s police chief.

Lathrom’s law enforcement experience includes a master’s in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University, along with the following work experience:

• 1978-1982: Worked as an officer with Wichita Kansas Police Department

• 1982-1984: Worked as a sergeant with the Molvane Kansas Police Department

• 1985-2011: Worked with the Department of Corrections in Sedgwick County Kansas

• 2013-present: Worked as the chief of police in Argonia, Kansas


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