Texico police chief quitting

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Texico police chief John Mares has resigned and is running for sheriff in De Baca County.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

John Mares said Wednesday he has resigned as Texico police chief effective March 28.

Mares, who has worked in law enforcement in Clovis and Curry County for almost 30 years, filed Tuesday for the open De Baca County Sheriff position. He is a Fort Sumner native.

Mares, who has been the Texico police chief for more than four years, said it was time for a change.

“I’m not through in life. Law enforcement is my life and the love of my life,” he said. “There’s too much to do.”

De Baca Sheriff Jimmy Butterfield resigned in February, citing stress after less then five months on the job, officials said previously.

He was the sixth sheriff in a row to resign before the end of a term.

In June, Mike Chavez resigned from the position. He was arrested after he resigned and charged on multiple counts of embezzlement, falsifying government documents and intimidation of a witness in connection with his time in the office, according to county officials and court documents. He is awaiting arraignment in district court.

“It’s unfortunate they have (had problems in the sheriff’s office). I’m hoping I can change that,” he said.

“I’m hoping I can bring some credibility and some integrity to that place so we can get the trust of the people back.”

Mares said during the nine years he has been in Texico, felony arrests have dropped from more than a dozen a year to “maybe two or three a year.”

“We have a really good community (in Texico), and we’ve got really good citizens,” he said. “Most of the crime is from traffic passing through.”

Texico personnel director Doug Scioli said Mares’ position will be advertised, and he expects it will be easily filled.

In the interim, Scioli said no coverage gaps are expected, explaining the Texico police department has assistance understandings in place with Clovis police and the Curry County Sheriff’s office.

“I don’t think its going to be (a problem). Curry County helps us out quite a bit,” he said.

The community has appreciated Mares’ service, Scioli said.

“Our biggest thing is we’re wishing (John Mares) the best because we believe he’ll do good where he’s trying to go,” Scioli said. “John’s good.”