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Eunice police chief resigns

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CURTIS C. WYNNE/NEWS-SUN

EUNICE — Eunice Police Chief Casey Arcidez resigned his position last week, but that doesn’t mean Eunice is without a chief.

A law enforcement officer for almost two decades, Arcidez sent a one-line text message to the News-Sun for explanation.

“I plan on starting a new career in the oilfield,” Arcidez said.

City Manager Shannon Cummins, declining to state any other reason for Arcidez’s resignation, told the News-Sun she has already appointed an interim chief — Lt. John Fray.

About Arcidez, the city manager added, “Casey did a lot of community activities, and was able to bring a lot of resources in his involvement with the United Way. He’s the Rotary president and  serves on a lot of committees. The city has benefited.”

Cummins anticipates a smooth transition.

“John is a go-getter. He gets things done,” Cummins said. “He was already taking care of shifts and the crew. He’s just going to keep on doing that and move right into the position.”

Meanwhile, city officials anticipate performing a search for a permanent police chief.

“We’ll just take it step by step and go forward,” said Eunice Mayor Billy Hobbs.

With the election of the previous police chief, Jimmie Jones, to a magistrate judgeship, Arcidez took the helm in 2018 as the interim police chief. The “interim” before Arcidez’ title was dropped later when Jones took the bench.

Cummins said as part of the search process if Fray decides he wants the job permanently, he will be able to express his desire along with any other candidates.

A committee of the city council conducted interviews in 2018 with three candidates, all members of the Eunice police force, before choosing Arcidez.

Arcidez began his law enforcement career with the Hobbs Police Department in 2004, serving various positions from patrolman to SWAT team member until 2009 when he became a detective. 

In 2011, he joined the Eunice force as an investigative patrol officer and acting supervisor. He became a Eunice detective in 2013.

Arcidez graduated with an associate degree from New Mexico Junior College and a bachelor’s degree from California Coast University.  

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