The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Police chief candidates narrowed down to two


Last updated 2/15/2022 at 3:59pm

CLOVIS – The city of Clovis has narrowed its list of police chief candidates to two, including acting Chief Roy Rice.

The other finalist is Dirk Budd, a division chief with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado, an agency with more than 400 law-enforcement officers.

City Manager Justin Howalt said he hopes to make a decision between the two by the end of next week.

The position opened in December, when Chief Doug Ford retired.

Howalt said the city received eight applicants for the position. Clovis Police Department Capt. Robert Telles was the only local candidate other than Rice, who has been with CPD since August 2019.

Howalt said he and Assistant City Manager Claire Burroughes narrowed the candidate list and interviewed four candidates before settling on Rice and Budd as finalists. Both finalists were interviewed a second time this week, Howalt said.

District Judge Drew Tatum, Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller, District Attorney Brian Stover and Curry County Detention Center Administrator Mark Gallegos were involved in interviewing the two finalists.

“The candidate must have a good relationship with these other agencies since they work so closely together and I wanted to garner their feedback,” Howalt said.

The city manager emphasized the final decision will be his.

“I’m looking for somebody who would be a good fit for our team, a good fit for our police department, somebody that is open and willing to think outside the box when it comes to retention and recruitment,” he said.

Retention and recruitment are an issue with law enforcement agencies across the country. Howalt said the Clovis PD has more than a dozen openings today.

“It’s an important decision not just for our city but for all of our citizens,” Howalt said. “I’m looking for that person who can meet our citizens’ needs and is responsive and can get recruits in and (our positions) filled back up.”

Budd has been division chief of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division since 2019, according to his resume. Adams County has a population near 500,000.

His law enforcement career spans 26 years and includes positions in Kingston, N.Y., New York City and Kansas City, his resume shows.

Rice’s law-enforcement career began with the U.S. Air Force in 1975. Prior to coming to Clovis PD, Rice was police chief in Muleshoe for six years and in Brownfield, Texas, for eight years. He was also city manager in Stamford, Texas, from 2007 to 2009.


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