Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sheriff deputies to accompany livestock scale inspectors

Livestock scale inspection begins July 26, in New Mexico, by New Mexico Department of Agriculture inspectors certifying scales. Given concern about border safety, inspectors in the Luna, Hidalgo and Grant County areas will be escorted by sheriff's deputies. Area members of the New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association met Wednesday night at La Fonda Restaurant to discuss concerns. "They are no less safe this year than last year, but the murder of Robert Krentz has brought it more into focus," said Caren Cowan, association executive director, said of the inspectors. There are 30 or more scales in the corridor -- south of Interstate 10 from Las Cruces to the Arizona border. Through the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement in the border area receives Operation Stonegarden money, partnering law enforcement with Border Patrol. "We're working with the Livestock Board and where they're using people to certify scales for shipping cattle, we'll be sending deputies so they can concentrate on their work instead of worrying about security," Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos said. Deputies work overtime paid through the Stonegarden program, so they won't be taken from regular patrols to escort inspectors. "It'll be good for deputies to get an idea of where these operations are. A lot of these are areas where we don't normally patrol," Cobos said. Cobos will be liaison/coordinator with the Hidalgo and Grant County sheriff's offices and the inspectors on this program...more

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