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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 23:34
ANTHONY, N.M. -- It's not an easy task building a police department from the ground up, but it's a challenge the newly appointed Anthony, New Mexico police chief welcomes with open arms.
Former Dona Ana County Sheriff's officer Larry Roybal took over as chief, after the town's first ever chief was fired.
"I have a stake in the community," Roybal said as he stood next to his patrol car. "This isn't only a job, it's a calling for me."
With about 18 years of experience working with the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, Roybal said he knows the town, he knows the people and most importantly he cares about the community he serves.
After the city parted ways with Steven Foldy, Mayor Arnulfo Castaneda says Roybal is exactly what the town needs.
"He's a go getter, Castaneda said. "He goes out and talks to the community, that's exactly what we wanted in a chief."
Roybal does have to overcome several challenges as chief. One of them being the lack of manpower. Currently he and Sergeant Dominguez are the only two officers on the force.
"Having one officer has been a challenge, but as soon as I came on I was told we would hire two more (officers) soon."
In addition to being understaffed, Chief Roybal also faces another big problem, the graffiti that can be seen throughout the town.
Roybal hopes to help curb that through education and a stronger presence in the community, including officers patrolling on bikes once more staff is hired.
Both Roybal and Mayor Castaneda said the only way the department will function as it's intended to, is with help from the community.
"The more help we get from the community, the more help we can be to them," Roybal said. "My big thing is we're here for them, anything they can do tell help us will benefit them."