Two officers in charge of patrolling the small town of Vaughn, New Mexico have found themselves in trouble with the law, forcing them to hand over their firearm’s and operate the force without a gun.
Police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo was indicted by a grand jury in Texas after owing his family over $52,000 in unpaid child support, according to KOB.
“I was unable to make the amount that was being required and I got behind. Its hard, because if you’re not making enough to do it then what do you do?” said Armijo. “It’s something I didn’t take care of and I know that I should have.”
The Police Chief managed to work out a plea deal, reducing his total amount owed to $40,000 and placing him on 5 years probation. Unfortunately because of the indictment, the officer was forced to sell any firearm’s that he owned.
The other officer in the town of 500, Brian Bernal, isn’t even officially certified as he has failed to attend the police academy and receive his certification. However, Armijo hired him on the notion that he would complete the training after being hired.
Once again, Officer Bernal plead guilty to battery charges against a family member in January of 2011, also stripping him of his right to carry a gun in the state of New Mexico, reports MSN.
Armijo insists however that carrying a gun isn’t always necessary when serving as a police officer for a town of that size.
“We have tasers, batons, mace … stuff like that,” Armijo said.
“This isn’t a TV show. This is life. We don’t run in everyday with a gun drawn. Life isn’t in a pistol grip. It’s how you talk to people. I wasn’t the type of person to go, ‘I’m a cop now give me my badge and my chip on my shoulder.’ That’s not me.”
Fortunately for the residents of Vaughn, County Sheriff’s and State Officers are also assigned to the town should they need assistance with a situation.
“As a law enforcement officer I’m responsible for 3,000 square miles which consists of parts of Vaughn,” Sheriff Michael Lucero said. “We do handle it.”
Officials at the State Law Enforcement Academy did say that they are reviewing Armijo’s case, but the final say to suspend or revoke his certification lies in the hands of the review board.
Would you feel safe with these two officers serving in your town?