2015-05-13, Doña Ana County Undersheriff Eddie Lerma

Eva and EddieResident pianist Fran Kemp entertained members and guests as they arrived and enjoyed lunch. President Bill Harty rang the bell and called the meeting to order. He introduced Jim Parks who gave the invocation. President Bill led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Patty Groth chose The Green Acres Theme as our song for the day. Kristi Granados (aka Eva Gabor aka Lisa Douglas) and Blaine Goss (aka Eddie Albert aka Oliver Wendell Douglas) were the lead singers. We had a reverse mystery greeter today – everyone who shook hands with Russell Allen had to pay a fine. Several members had Happy $$.  John Hernandez was glad to be here. Jodie Brdecko announced that her husband was having surgery. Greg Fant is proud to have a new grandson. John Pickett visited the school in Uganda where the club donated computers. Bill Harty apparently had a sunburned head from watching Aggie softball. He was proud that the girls fought their way back to win the WAC regular-season and tournament titles.

Henry BroekhoffRon SalakAnnouncements

It is with heavy hearts that the Board has accepted the resignation of two of our members. Ron Salak and his wife Nadine are moving to Omaha, Nebraska. Ron has been a member of our club for almost 23 years and is a Past President and Paul Harris Fellow. Henry Broekhoff has also resigned. Henry has been a member for over 7 years. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and he was the founder of the Taste of Las Cruces fundraising event. We wish all of you well in your future endeavors. Please stay in touch!

Dona Ana County SheriffThe Program

Doña Ana County Sheriff Enrique “Kiki” Vigil was scheduled to be our speaker; however, he had a conflict as it was his wife’s birthday. Jim Berry introduced Edward Lerma, Undersheriff and second in command. Lerma introduced Major Brent Barlow (third in command) and Executive Assistant Dennis Montoya. Edward has 43 years of experience in law enforcement, has been the Police Chief in two New Mexico towns, and has been a Magistrate Judge. Major Barlow is starting his twentieth year.

Eddie Lerma and Dennis MontoyaOne of the biggest issues that the Sheriff’s office is facing is high turnover in personnel. New officers must complete 26 weeks of rigorous training and must qualify to carry a firearm. The Sheriff’s office is seeking parity in pay as many officers leave for higher pay at other law enforcement organizations including the Las Cruces Police Department. Hobbs is currently offering new officers a $50,000 housing bonus. An increase in the local gross receipts tax was dedicated for salaries and equipment, however it was not actually additional funds as other money was eliminated. Currently, the sheriff’s office has 120 sworn staff and about 150 civilian employees. They should have 163 sworn staff.  The sheriff’s office is getting away from traffic enforcement (luckily for Jim Berry who apparently speeds quite often in Picacho Hills).

The sheriff’s office is focusing on community policing and relationships. The Sheriff has jurisdiction in all of Doña Ana County. There were a number of questions from club members. Vehicles have cameras but there are no lapel cameras yet. The office had approximately 85,000 citizen contacts last year. Crime tends to be higher on Friday and Saturday nights, when school is out, and when the Dallas Cowboys lose. Morale is improving since the election. David Yaryan thanked our guests for their service to the community.

After the Program

Lya Jordan won the 50/50 once again!  Lya gave the can report and we raised $79 that will be donated to the Amador Hotel Restoration project. President Bill led the recitation of The Four Way Test. The meeting was adjourned. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians-none

Visiting Rotarians- none

Student Guests-none for the summer

Make-ups

Rotarian

Date

Club

Earl Phillips

05/06/15

Benson, AZ

Submitted by Patty Groth Patty Groth