In the April edition of the Catron Courier, we asked candidates to respond to some questions about coverage for the county for sheriff, and Fire & EMS retention for the commissioner candidates, and then to identify other issues they saw as being pressing. We are including candidates emails so you can also ask the candidates questions. Remember to vote on June 5! CANDIDATES FOR SHERIFF Ian Fletcher—
(1) If elected again, my plans to improve officer response time include adjusting shifts for better coverage. We have started doing that. I work very well with New Mexico State Police and they are adjusting their patrol schedules to help us with coverage and response time. The other part to this is making sure that all officers in the department are certified, which we currently are. That way every officer can respond, including the Sheriff.
(2) I feel three areas need improvement in law enforcement in Catron County. One is training. We have mandated training, which we do, but we need more on crime scene processing, interviews and related areas. As a General Police Instructor and High Risk Instructor, our training, I feel, is the best it has been in my time with the Sheriff's Office. Like everything, there is room for improvement. My plan is to bring in and provide more advanced training.
The second area includes getting Neighborhood Watch going again, not just for the communities to watch for themselves but for the Sheriff's Office to interact and be pro-active, instead of reactive. I feel we have made progress but we will do better. My specific plans are to attend more community meetings and present Neighborhood Watch and similar programs to the communities.
The third area, and not for just law enforcement operations, is radio communications. The radio communications in the county have been substandard at very best. I have and will continue to improve radio communications, not just for the Sheriff's Office, but all first responders. My specific plans for this, I am already doing. I have new radios for the Sheriff's Office that are far superior to ones we have had in the past. These radios will assist dispatch in knowing locations of the officers by GPS, and with an abundance of functions for communicating with not only our dispatch but surrounding counties as well. There are some infrastructure issues with the radios that as Sheriff I will help address. Shawn C. Menges— forcement for 24 1/2 years and have been honored to serve two terms as Sheriff 20072014. In 2007, I worked with the County Commission and created an expansion Deputy position, thereby stationing a Deputy in the Datil area.
Should response time need to be improved, I would first consider the shift schedule. Previously, I implemented a Patrol Sergeant position which provided additional supervision on weekends. In addition to this, I improved the Law Enforcement retirement plan from the lowest available to the second best offered.
Other accomplishments include evolving from 911 to Enhanced 911 to include the emergency notification system.
Throughout both terms, I obtained funding for a renovation/expansion to the Sheriff’s Office and dispatch area and a new fleet of Patrol vehicles. I’ve obtained Snow Cats, trailers, storage, vehicles and overall, over $1.5 million worth of Surplus equipment.
I attempted to incorporate the first animal control officer in the county, and implemented an emergency manager and accepted the County Wildlife Investigator within the Sheriff’s Department.
Training, tools and equipment have been a past priority and will continue to be with my immediate focus on Patrol, Community Involvement, Departmental structure, radio communications and Criminal Investigations. Your support on June 5th would be greatly appreciated!
I will have the nearest officer to the scene respond rather than have one responder from 100 miles away, if nothing else I would respond myself. Ref. Question 2, more investigations and more visibility throughout the county, better contact with citizens, also more traffic control throughout the county are needed. CANDIDATES FOR COMMISSIONER—DISTRICT 1 Anita Hand—
Catron County volunteers are vital to the County and to the residents. Without volunteers, the health, safety and public welfare of our citizens are compromised. As a volunteer myself I understand the desire to feel appreciated by the public as well as the elected officials. I believe that there are options the county can consider such as looking into a decreased or waived trash fee for active volunteers, and that will have to go before the County Commission for implementation. Engaging with the
My name is Shawn Menges, Republican candidate for Catron County Sheriff. I’ve served in Law En-