Holiday special: Lea Co. Sheriff’s Dept. offering patch to benefit families in need

New Mexico News

LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – One southeast New Mexico sheriff’s office is taking its Christmas program to a new level. They’re trying to raise money to give to the less fortunate, a Lea County special Christmas. With a donation, you can become a special member of the sheriff’s department.

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Seven years ago, the Lea County Sheriff’s Office took a step to helping out those who need it most during the holidays. “We had a deputy that came across a family that just wasn’t able to provide the Christmas they wanted to provide for their family,” said Chief Deputy Fernando Jimenez.

That’s when the Santa Deputy Program was born. The program provides families and kids with a Christmas, who normally can’t afford it. “We wanted to make it equal — we have five cities in our county so we picked families from every city,” said Jimenez.

Each year, the department selects families based on recommendations from the community. They also keep a list of potential families from calls they respond to throughout the year. They provide food, clothes and toys to around 30 to 40 kids each year.

The Lea County Sheriff’s Office usually takes donations for their program. This year, they’re hoping to move past $20,000 by offering a Lea County Sheriff’s Department patch. Every deputy will be wearing the patch starting December 1.

“Service doesn’t just mean you go out on a call. Service means what are you doing for this family that can’t provide for their kids? What are you doing for this family that doesn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner? What are you doing for this family who is struggling to buy their son or their daughter a jacket?” said Jimenez.

The patch costs $10 and all of the proceeds go to the Santa Deputy Program. For more information or to buy a patch, visit

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