As the only certified officer in the New Mexico town, it appears, on paper anyway, that Nikka’s in charge.
Police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo stepped down Wednesday after news stories reported that he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of his criminal background.
Vaughn’s only other human officer isn’t certified as a result of pleading guilty to charges of assault and battery last year, according to the Associated Press.
Non-certified officers aren’t allowed to make arrests or carry firearms.
That leaves law enforcement in the small eastern New Mexico town up to Nikka, a drug-sniffing dog who apparently lives with the former chief.
State officials said Chief Armijo couldn’t carry a gun because he owes tens of thousands of dollars in child support payments in Texas. He also faces felony charges after being accused of selling a town-owned rifle and keeping the cash.
Town attorney Dave Romero says Armijo is trying to clear up the latest case and hasn’t ruled out returning to the position.
Romero said not having an officer qualified to carry a gun didn’t put the small town at risk, and added that town officials are looking at hiring another officer. He said it’s unclear whether the town will keep the police dog, which had been in Armijo’s care.
Letting Nikka serve as chief — though we think it’s a good idea — apparently hasn’t been discussed.
Guadalupe County Sheriff Michael Lucero said his department has helped patrol Vaughn, a town of about 450 people located 104 miles east of Albuquerque. But he said that has put a strain on his short-staffed department.
When approached by an Associated Press reporter, Armijo said he had no comment, and he declined to allow Nikka to be photographed.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, certified, chief, child support, department, dog, dogs, drug, drug-sniffing, Ernest Armijo, firearms, K-9, k9, law enforcement, new mexico, nikka, officers, one, pets, police, police dog, remaining, resignation, sniffing, vaughn, weapons
The road from Roswell to Albuquerque — not too long, not too winding — seems paved with misfortune.
Highway 285 has long stretches of emptiness, and is dotted with small dusty towns, like Vaughn and Encino, where even “New Menagement” apparently couldn’t save this place.
And, of course, no Starbucks, unlike Albuquerque, where I passed two as soon as I exited, and where I’m now enjoying an iced coffee.
The oppressive humidity of the past week is, I think, behind me. Ace too, as he munches on my left over ice cubes, seems more comfortable.
Tonight, we spend the first of two nights with a complete stranger, who has offered me her couch. Details Saturday.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, dog friendly, dog's country, dogscountry, encino, new mexico, ohmidog!, pets, road trip, roswell, travel, traveling with dogs, vaughn