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Law Enforcement Academy Leader Leaving

11/23/2016 6:05:32 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. [Story by Dorothy Fowler, Hobbs News Sun]

Angie Byrd, who has headed New Mexico's number one law enforcement academy for eight years, will hang up her NMJC shield On Dec. 31.

"I will graduate my 17th class on Dec. 2," she said. "There are 22 of them and all of them have jobs as law enforcement officers as of now. I am so proud of them."

Byrd, who came to New Mexico Junior College via University of the Southwest, said she was a law enforcement officer in Kansas before she came to Hobbs to teach law enforcement and coach soccer at the university.

"Then there was opening here at the junior college and I applied and I've loved every minute of it," she said.

The program she has presided over is a 16 week residential program.

"All the cadets are required to live on campus during that 16 weeks," she said. "We work at night, on weekends and holidays because that's the way law enforcement is."

When the class that will graduate Dec. 2, entered, all but two cadets were already employed as law enforcement officers and they were sponsored by their employing agency.

"Only two were self-sponsored and they already have jobs," she said. "We have the number one program, the premier program in the state and our graduates are in demand." Although she's leaving NMJC "with a heavy heart," she has a job in Bosque, N.M. that will "provide more income and more opportunity," than her position here.

"I'm going to be the captain there, the second in command and it pays more than I'm making here. But most important, it will give me the opportunity to spend more time with my son. Being here required 12- and 14-hour days and lots of weekends," she said. "I'm a single mother trying to raise my son alone and I've depended a lot on my mother to take care of him. More regular hours will make a big difference for us."

Byrd said her son is excited about the prospects of moving to a new place.

"We both think there will be more options for us," she said. "And I'm leaving knowing I've done everything I could do for this program. We've got the dormitories and the cars and the equipment we need. And we've had wonderful support from the staff and the community."

Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at 575-391-5446 or education@hobbsnews.com.

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