NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A small New Mexico city has decided enough is enough; they’re getting their own police force. Rio Communities near Belen okayed a big tax hike to launch a police department. Currently, the city pays the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office $150,000 a year for a deputy to patrol the city of 5,000 residents.


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City Manager Martin Moore said the partnership between the Sheriff’s office and the city would come to an end next summer. The money for a new police department will come from those savings and a property tax hike recently passed by the city council that will generate $170,000.

“We did not propose to the council an increase on the commercial side, just the residential by far; our main revenue stream of property tax comes from our residential part of town,” said Moore.

The city knows there won’t be 24/7 coverage at first, but they hope to expand the department down the line.