By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Former Tucumcari Police Chief Roger Hatcher is preparing to serve as a Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy on a temporary basis.
Hatcher plans to start work with the sheriff’s office Monday. He said Chief Deputy Malin Parker asked him to take the position.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker said his office is short-handed because of deputies deployed or in training. He said Hatcher is a certified peace officer and capable of performing the necessary duties.
“The situation in Tucumcari is not a concern of mine at this time,” Hooker said.
Hatcher’s tenure in Tucumcari was rife with controversy.
After shooting a 14-year-old girl in the head with a Taser last summer in Tucumcari, Hatcher was put on administrative leave, investigated and cleared of wrongdoing.
Jan. 15, he was again put on administrative leave and then fired Jan. 29. Among the reasons cited by city officials for terminating Hatcher’s employment were his alleged failure of establish residence in the city.
Hatcher said the reasons for firing him were weak.
While Hatcher can work for the sheriff’s office a maximum of nine months, he doesn’t expect to stay that long. Afterward, he said, he doesn’t know what he will do, but he has applied for police chief jobs.
Hatcher said he appreciates Hooker and Parker’s confidence and he believes the arrangement will work out well.
“They need a hand, and I’m ready to give it to them,” he said.
Hooker said the situation would benefit his office and Hatcher.
“We’re excited about having Roger come work for us, and I know he will provide the quality service that I require and the county expects,” Hooker said.