Investigation Continues After Five Firefighters Were Arrested in Eunice

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

EUNICE, NEW MEXICO - The Eunice City Council met on Thursday night to discuss the arrests of five members of their fire department. It's an issue that has city leaders angry, and the community worried for their safety.

"We're all shocked," A family member of one of the arrested firefighters in Eunice, said. "When it happened yesterday everyone is like, what's going on?"

A flood of questions came from people in Eunice, and on Thursday night, the City Council met in executive session to try and figure out why their Fire Chief and 4 firefighters are accused of nabbing a radar detector from a crime scene two weeks ago.

"It's stupid," Mayor Matt White said. "It's a dumb incident and from what I'm being told, it looks like someone may have taken it and got the other people to help try to cover it up."

The five firefighters face burglary, tampering with evidence, and attempting to tamper with evidence charges; and that hit close to home for the Eunice Mayor.

"I'll be honest, my grandson is one of the ones involved in this and I'm very disappointed in him," Mayor White said.

NewsWest 9 caught up with another relative of one of the firefighters arrested. She believes most of the men are innocent.

"1 or 2, but not the whole 5 people. There's 3 innocents," a Neighbor said.

Chief Grogan is also under fire for allegedly inappropriately touching a female patient inside an ambulance in September. Right now, one of the biggest concerns across town is what happens to citizens' safety after the five emergency crew members were arrested.

"You realize, we're all thinking what's going to happen if there is a fire? Who's going to go to it?" A Neighbor said.

"We're working on appointing an Interim Fire Chief, since our Fire Chief was suspended, and we worked out an agreement with Hobbs that if we have a fire, they'll respond also," Mayor White said. "As far as ambulance and EMT, we're still covered."

Right now city officials are waiting on a report from the New Mexico State Police. When they get it, they'll be able to decide the next steps. The City Manager says they're hoping to have that information within the next couple of days. NewsWest 9 made several attempts to contact Chief Grogan for his side of the story, but our calls went unanswered.