State Police trying to work with businesses in southeast New Mexico

Coronavirus New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police have been given the daunting task of monitoring which businesses should open and which should be closed. In Southeast New Mexico, State Police say it’s not always a cut and dry decision.

“We’re actually getting a small number of COVID calls in the Southeast and we are addressing them individually” said Captain Lance Bateman with the New Mexico State Police Department.

New Mexico State Police Captain Lance Bateman said they have not revived a large number of calls complaining on non-essential businesses that are still operating in Southeast New Mexico. He said his officers are only responding to citizen complaints.

“But we have to look into all of them so were not targeting businesses. We’re not, you know, going up and down the street to each business to make sure their doors are locked, we’re not doing anything of those sorts” said Captain Bateman.

State Police have to respond to every call even if it is an essential business. It scared Roswell business owner Dominic Batista Jr when officers showed up to his beef jerky store. “I was a little nervous, I know we were considered essential, um but it’s also hard to tell that to law enforcement when they’re telling you one thing and you know another,” said Dominic Batista Jr owner of Alien Jerky.

Captain Bateman said they are doing everything they can to help the businesses during these hard times. He says when officers show up the initially will shut down a business like this car wash in Artesia. Bateman says the decision will then go to him and he will decide if it can reopen or must stay closed. The car wash was allowed to reopen.

“Were trying to work with them, the last thing we want to do, we all grew up in these communities, is to go and effect their livelihood. I know it’s a tough time and our officers tasked with a tough, tough job of doing this” said Captain Bateman.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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