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Report: Town chief gave police badges to pals, celebrities

LAKE ARTHUR, N.M. — A tiny, southeastern New Mexico town is facing questions after it amassed a police force with more than 100 gun-toting officers — most who don’t live in the state.

KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports the village of Lake Arthur, New Mexico, is under investigation over claims its former volunteer Police Chief Will Norwood passed out authentic looking police credentials to his friends and celebrities who had little or no police training.

The station reported that Norwood gave friends full police powers with statewide authority in exchange for a $400 annual fee paid to the private Lake Arthur Reserve Police Officer Association.

Under New Mexico law, reservists don’t have law enforcement powers to act on their own and can’t make arrests.

Norwood did not return phone calls.