Hatcher named Tucumcari police chief

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom New Mexico

Former Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher has been named Tucumcari’s new police chief.

“We’re real excited to have him,” Tucumcari City Manager John Sutherland said. Sutherland and the City Commission met Thursday evening in a closed session to discuss the position.

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 he’s 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.

“I wanted to get there before Daniel left,” so there would be smooth transition, Hatcher said.
“I feel it’s a great opportunity,” said Hatcher who was offered the job on Thursday, his 51st birthday. “It’s a young department; and it’s an opportunity to help that department grow.”

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 Sheriff’s 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 apartments, he said. He also has a private investigator’s license and has worked on some cases, Hatcher said.

Sutherland said he appointed Hatcher to the position and commissioners did not vote on it.

Hatcher had been a finalist for the position when it was last open in the fall of 2006.