City Council Chambers at Socorro City Hall

The City of Socorro has been awarded $787,500 to recruit and hire up to six police officers.

The city council accepted the grant at the Oct. 3 meeting. The grant agreement comes from the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration Law Enforcement Fund. The funds have to be spent within three years.

The city currently has two recruits on the line, said Mayor Ravi Bhasker.

In other business, new Police Chief Angel Garcia was sworn into office and outgoing Police Chief Mike Winders was recognized for his 24 years of service to the city.

“We’ve not had civil rights issues, we’ve not had people getting shot by the police and we’ve not had anything that even approaches a scandal,” Bhasker said after recognizing outgoing chief Winders. “You just have to look up and down the Rio, and we’ve been lucky to have a great police chief, and Angel, we certainly hope he’s learned a lot from you.”

“Thank you again, Mike, for being the police chief that you are.”

In other business:

  • The city is applying to the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for flood mitigation funding to eliminate storm-related flooding on Bullock Boulevard. The project is estimated to cost $5.5 million and would be covered by a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan.

At present, the city has a temporary four-year permit for storm waters from Bullock Boulevard to flow into a ditch owned by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

  • The city is also applying for $8 million to design and construct a wastewater collection system on Spring Street, Evergreen Drive, Park City Drive and South Sixth Street, $1 million for a supervisory control and data acquisition system at the city’s wastewater treatment plant and $5.5 million for a Northeast Frontage Road wastewater collection system.

The next council meeting is Monday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.