Sheriff gets notable nomination from peers

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Law > Western organization nominates LA’s Lucero

By Tris DeRoma

When he first took office in 2010, no one really expected Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero to actually, well you know, enforce laws. Some people in the county saw the job as an administrative position and hoped Lucero would see things their way.

He did not.

“I was the very first elected sheriff here who was also an actual, certified law enforcement officer,” Lucero said. “I came in with the premise that I was going to try and keep the community safe, and I continue to believe in that premise.”

To make a long story short, he became involved in the investigation of a convicted sex offender, and some people on the County’s Charter Review Committee, according to him, didn’t think that should be his venue and tried to eliminate his office.

“There are those who thought I shouldn’t be involved in law enforcement or making arrests of convicted sex offenders,” he said. “There was a long drawn out battle, and we ended up keeping the office of sheriff.”

It was for this, as well as his founding of a website where concerned citizens could come and find out where local sex offenders are living in their neighborhood that the Western States Sheriffs Association, an organization that covers 16 states, nominated Lucero for its Sheriff of the Year Award.

Though someone else was eventually named the winner, Lucero said he really appreciated the support of his fellow sheriffs, noting that the nominations were based on who best exemplified the office of sheriff.

“I was just honored and humbled to receive the nomination, to even be considered by my peers to be part of this elite group,” he said.

Jack LeVick, executive director of the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association, said Lucero’s nomination came primarily out of the northwestern states, such as Utah and Washington.

“It was based on his perseverance in upholding the office of sheriff, as well as his work with the sex offender registry,” he said.

“He was basically a one-man army who found himself in a different type of sheriff situation. It was quite an honor for our state, for he was the only sheriff nominated from our state.”