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5 Southern N.M. sheriffs team up

By Bruce Daniels
The Albuquerque Journal

HIDALGO, N.M. — Bad guys can't dodge the law any more by crossing the county line.

The sheriff's departments of Hidalgo, Luna, Grant, Dona Ana and Otero counties in southern New Mexico have signed a memorandum of agreement that allows cross-commissioning of deputies, the Deming Headlight reported.

"Instead of being a 40-man department, we are now a 300-man department," Grant County Sheriff Raul "Bully" Holguin told the Headlight.

Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos also said the agreement allows for sharing equipment and experience as well as manpower, the Headlight reported.

"We can operate across a county line, and can have both counties (involved) or one can go into the other," Cobos told the Headlight.

The agreement, however, requires deputies from one county to notify another county if they want to exercise their cross-commissioning authority, the paper said.

The agreement also covers joint and cooperative border security operations funded by the Department of Homeland Security or through the U.S. Border Patrol, and provides for shared radio communication, mapping, use of available equipment and sharing of intelligence and information, the Headlight reported.

But any agency may withdraw from the agreement with written notification, the paper said.

Signatories include Gov. Bill Richardson, Dona Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison, Hidalgo County Sheriff Bob Hall, Otero County Sheriff John Blansett as well as Holguin and Cobos, according to the Headlight.

Copyright 2008 The Albuquerque Journal

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