Roger Jimenez James Lujan composite

Roger Jimemez and James Lujan

Española Police Department Deputy Chief Roger Jimenez was none too happy about Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan speaking publicly in opposition to him being promoted to chief of police.

Jimenez sent an email in the days following the meeting to the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association, asking them to consider whether or not Lujan had violated any of the organization’s bylaws, or acted unethically.

He also said he plans to file a formal complaint with the New Mexico Law Enforcement Board.

“I was recently involved in an incident where a New Mexico County Sheriff not only spoke against me acquiring a promotion, but he also admitted to contacting city councilors in his official capacity to slander my reputation and name,” Jimenez wrote. “Not only is the (sic) troubling on his end, but it’s also troubling to me because he made these comments in a local newspaper and in an open meeting.”

A previous Rio Grande SUN article quoted Lujan’s statements at a May 14 city council meeting. During the meeting Lujan said he had made several calls both as a constituent and as a law enforcement officer in opposition to Jimenez’s proposed appointment.

Lujan said he did not believe Jimenez had the experience needed to do the job. He also called for Mayor Javier Sanchez to open the position to applicants to get the “best qualified person to work with the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department together.”

New Mexico Sheriff’s Association Board Chairman Tony Mace, who is also the Cibola County Sheriff, responded to Jimenez’s email on behalf of the Association, and told him there was nothing in the Association bylaws that conflicted with the behavior Jimenez had described.

"The Sheriff is the Chief Executive Law Enforcement Officer for his respected county, and the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county,” Mace wrote in his response to Jimenez. “And only answers to the people of the county that elect him into office.”

Mace also wrote that Lujan had a First Amendment right to freedom of speech that was protected “under the letter of the law.”

In a phone interview May 17, Mace said he was impressed with Lujan’s integrity and willingness to speak out publicly.

“He’s responsible for the public safety of the whole county,” Mace said. “And a lot of times you’ll have municipalities that contact the sheriff (when looking for a new police chief to ask them to) be on the board or the review panel or different things like that.”

Mace said he has experienced that multiple times during his tenure as Cibola County Sheriff. He was contacted by the mayor of Grants and the Village of Milan.

“I think it’s a good practice,” Mace said. “Because essentially you want to have the right people in the right places. I mean, if you have your law enforcement cooperating, say you have ten officers at the (police department) and ten officers at the sheriff’s office, now you have 20 law enforcement officers accomplishing the same goal and worried about public safety.”

Mace said when the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department are not in agreement, there is not the same “totality” of law enforcement presence.

Neither Lujan, Jimenez nor Sanchez answered requests for comment as of press time.

(9) comments

John Martinez

"Inexperience is what makes a young Man do , what an old man says is impossible." Herbert V. Prochnow

John Martinez

Same ol, again you are speaking against facts that you again do not try to do any investigating ex LE you should know better. DC Jimenez has many years experiences as a LE Instructor who actually taught policy, and procedures for the majority of the officers hat are out protecting our streets. He probably has more knowledge and experience than Lujan and Sheriff what's his name from that lil.. what you call it county....


John Martinez I am sorry to break the news to you but Same ol is right. Jimenez has been an instructor for years, but what you learn from the streets from people in daily basis and everyday work is not the same than read and teach from a book. I know Jimenez and he is not ready. He is not capable to lead as a Chief. El Diablo sabe mas por Viejo que por Diablo. Experience actual experience. FYI not all the instructors from LEA teach to new officer from experience the teach form a text book. If you are in law enforcement you should have more knowledge and know the difference. I agree with Same Ol 100%

John Martinez really think DC Jimenez was just an instructor and never had any "street" experience as an Officer? He had been with SFPD and State Police for many years...c'mon True? If you were so True, why use a fake name?

Same Ol Same Ol

I most heartily agree with TRJ. Law Enforcement is the line in the sand between the law-abiding citizenry and complete anarchy. And again, I agree, there is good and bad in every profession. I don’t doubt, nor do I believe anyone is questioning, DC Jimenez’s compassion for his fellow man. From all accounts I can gather—even those in opposition to him, politically or otherwise—the DC is a fine example of a decent human being, for which he is to be commended. When your enemies can collectively say that about you, you really don’t have enemies, merely competitors. That being said, please understand TRJ that compassion is but only one piece of a myriad of positive characteristics that make a good police chief. Any cop will tell you; not every good cop will make a good sergeant, not every good sergeant will make a good lieutenant… – I think the point is made without additional here. Unfortunately, the most potent tools (facts) used by those opposed to the DC’s aspirations to garner the COP position are those the DC himself is either handing out or exposing, none the least of which is his lack of public political maturity when faced with being told, “No.” Because, believe it or not, what the DC is actually being told is, “Not now. You are not ready. You are not what we are looking for at this time.” So, what does one do when given this type of feedback? That’s right. One steps back and prepares – read that training, training, schooling, training, more schooling and yet more training – for the next opportunity to reach for that coveted brass ring. DC Jimenez may yet be a COP somewhere, at some time. He may even yet be the EPD COP. Who can say? But not now. He’s not ready. He’s not what they’re looking for at this time. If he disagrees, the DC should file his application with the rest of those who will undoubtedly do the same when the EPD COP position is publicly posted, regardless of what the city council has voted, and may the best applicant win. If he agrees and, after taking to heart the feedback he has recently received, he dives into the hoard of additional training and schooling out there available to those who desire to learn how to lead/manage, at some point in the future, have no fear or doubt, he will achieve his ultimate goal. This, to the great benefit of a needful community. Perhaps even the city of Española.


First of all I believe in our Law Enforcement...there are some good and bad in any agency, but Mr. Jimenez by far is compassionate to the people he and his officers serve...Dont understand why Lujan feels the need to bully other agencies....stop wasting our tax payers money and focus on the needs of our community.

John Martinez

GO TEAM RJIMENEZ!!!! Make Espana great Again!!!

Same Ol Same Ol

It would seem “the glue that holds” EPD together is himself becoming unglued (pun intended – not initially, but hey, if the shoe fits). Communicating with the NM Sheriff Association Chairman via email and not in person on such a “troubling” matter bespeaks immaturity at best, childish petulance at worst. The DC unwittingly appears to be proving his detractors’ point that he lacks both the personal and professional maturity for the job of EPD COP. He’s determined, I’ll give him that. He’s also woefully misguided and quickly turning himself into a punchline. My father once told me the best kind of proof anybody can hold against you is the proof you provide them. Can’t wait to read the NMLEA’s reaction when they’re approached on the matter! Regardless of what anyone may personally think about them, though, this is good publicity for Lujan, Mace, the city council, the NMLEA and the Rio Grande Sun (selling papers like hotcakes on this issue, no doubt – congrats!); not so much for our intrepid DC. Russell Crowe in Gladiator couldn’t have done better – are you not entertained, Rio Arriba County?


James Lujan in a nutshell

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