LEA COUNTY, N.M. — The Lea County Sheriff’s Office is meeting with New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas and District Attorney Dianna Luce to swear in members of the sheriff’s office as New Mexico Mounted Patrol Officers.
The move comes after the death of Lea County Sheriff Steve Ackerman in a rollover crash Tuesday night.
As sworn commissioned personnel under Ackerman, the Lea County deputies could enforce the laws and civil service under his authority.
But now, there is concern whether they still have that authority until a new sheriff is sworn into office and can swear in the commissioned deputies under their command.
As Mounted Patrol Officers, the sheriff’s commissioned deputies will have full police powers and the county sheriff’s office will be able to resume functioning as a law enforcement entity.