Estancia hired a new police chief, Stephanie Reynolds, a former sergeant with the department who had stepped in as acting chief.

Estancia Mayor Sylvia Chavez said in the past “when chiefs stepped down or resigned, Stephanie has always been there to pick up the reins, and lead the department for a minute until we could get a replacement.”

Reynolds is an Estancia native whose career in law enforcement started in Santa Fe, Chavez said. Because the job is appointed by the mayor, it is not as secure a job as lower-ranking positions, the mayor explained. “She’s not a rookie but she’s still got a couple more years in her career. It’s a big step to take not knowing what your future will hold.”

Reynolds will be Estancia’s first female chief of police, and Chavez said she thought she might be the first female chief in Torrance County.

“She’s getting guidance from Sheriff [Heath] White and Chief [Bobby] Garcia in Moriarty,” Chavez said. “I have total faith in her—I know she’ll do an awesome job. She thinks outside the box and has gone above and beyond what I would even ask her to do. I was very ecstatic when she accepted my offer.”