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Government - Public Safety

Voters in Lea County take an active role in politics, especially local politics. The county is governed by five county commissions, each representing a district of the county. The day-to-day management of the county is with the county manager, who provides supervision over the various county departments and employees. The other elected county officials are the Sheriff, Treasurer, Assessor, Probate Judge and the County Clerk.

Each city in the county has its own locally elected officials that are elected by districts or at large within their cities to set policies and to govern their community.

The City of Hobbs has six district elected Commissioners and a citywide elected Mayor. The Mayor and Commissioners hire a City Manager, who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city and its various departments. The City of Hobbs currently has a chief and 80 certified police officers. The Hobbs Police Department is one of four police departments that are accredited by the International Police Chief’s Association. The Hobbs Fire Department currently has a chief and 71 firefighters that are also certified as EMT/Paramedics. The City of Hobbs enjoys the lowest Insurance Fire Rating (ISO), a Class 2 in the State of New Mexico.

The City of Lovington has five elected City Councilmen, elected by district, with a Mayor elected from within the Council. The city is managed by a City Manager who provides leadership for the day-to-day operation of the city and the various departments and services. The City of Lovington currently employs 26 certified police officers and has a fire department of 17 firefighters and EMTs.

The City of Eunice has eight elected City Council members elected by districts and a Mayor elected citywide. The Mayor manages the day-to-day operations of the City in cooperation with a City Manager. The City of Eunice currently has a Chief and five certified police officers. A full-time Fire Chief supervises 30 volunteer firemen, along with seven volunteer certified EMTs.

The City of Jal has six elected City Council members plus a Mayor, who all serve the community at large. The city is managed by the City Manager in cooperation with the Mayor. The City of Jal currently has a Chief and six certified police officers and one full-time Fire Chief and Medical Services Director, along with 18 volunteer firemen/EMTs.

The City of Tatum has four elected City Councilmen and a Mayor who are elected at large. The Tatum Police Department has a Chief and three certified police officers. The city’s Fire Department has a Chief and 10 volunteer firemen, and operates the ambulance service for the city.

The Lea County Sheriff’s office is staffed with 44 certified deputies who are responsible for courthouse security, civil service and patrolling the unincorporated parts of Lea County. This modern Sheriff’s Department coordinates its criminal operations and investigations with the various local law enforcement agencies. The Lea County Sheriff’s Department has offices in Hobbs and Lovington and has resident deputies in Jal, Eunice and Tatum.

The New Mexico State Police has a Sub-District office in Hobbs and provides patrol officers and supervision for Lea County-based State Police officers. The State Police District offices are located in the City of Roswell.

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