HOBBS, NM (KWES) - After 20 years of police work with the Hobbs Police Department, Chief McCall announced he will retire February 28.

McCall and his wife of 24 years, Kelli McCall, raised their family in Hobbs and called it home for 20 years.

Started as a rookie with the Texas Tech University Police Department in 1997, Chief McCall joined the Hobbs Police Department as a Patrolman, moved to Field Training Officer, Sergeant, and then Lieutenant.

He served as Deputy Chief of Police from 2010 – 2013 and Interim Chief of Police before receiving promotion to Chief of Police.

“I appreciate all the opportunities I have had as a result of my career with HPD. It’s been a great pleasure to serve the citizens of Hobbs for 20 years and a great honor to serve with the high caliber of men and women I have had the pleasure to work beside along the way.”

Chief McCall recalled some experiences and relationships throughout his career in police work.

“The time I spent on the Street Crimes Unit were some of the most interesting and enjoyable in my career as far as police work. I worked with outstanding partners on that team, including now Deputy Chief Brian Dunlap, Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton, and a former Hobbs Police Officer Reid Gunter," said Chief McCall. "We worked hard to make a positive impact in our community primarily through a narcotics and violent crime focus. I think by far though, my most fulfilling experiences occurred during my time as Chief of Police. The men and women who I worked with on a daily basis, both inside and outside of the department were extremely impactful and all helped me grow professionally and personally.”

During his tenure, Chief McCall also volunteered and served with many nonprofits and on many Boards, including the Lea County Communications Authority Board, Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, Executive Board for the New Mexico Association of Chiefs of Police for over 5 years (from 2014-present as the President), Crime Stoppers Board, Hobbs Rotary Club, Red Cross Local Hero’s Selection Committee Member, Lea County Drug Task Force Board, and many others throughout the county and state.

Chief McCall was also recognized several times and completed many reputable programs, including Officer of the Year in 2003, Jim Allison Exemplary Leadership Award in 2016, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Command School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, West Point Leadership Program, Hobbs Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute, Leadership NM Local Government and Core Leadership Programs and Board, and the 241st Session of the FBI National Academy.

He was also appointed by Governor Martinez to represent Municipal Chiefs of Police on the Law Enforcement Academy Board from 2013 to 2018.

He perceptively recognized the rising tensions between police forces and citizens across the nation and the need for action to build and encourage relationships with Hobbs Police Department officers and local citizens.

With the mission of bringing the police department and community together, McCall led the Community Relations Team to meet citizens on a more personal level and help citizens get to know the officers and department as well.

Hobbs Mayor Sam D. Cobb stated, “Chief McCall has served our community with distinction during a period of rapid growth in our community that makes the job Chief of Police even more challenging than it normally is. He has implemented several innovative programs, such as the “Eagle IC,” that has made our schools and our public areas much safer for our citizens. It has been an honor to have had the opportunity to have served as Mayor during his tenure as Chief of Police. I wish him, Kelli, and their family nothing but the best as they pursue new opportunities.”

Chief McCall shared advice for the next Hobbs Police Chief of Police, “This is a great department full of professionals who are some of the best at what they do. Continue to trust in them to do their part and the community’s safety will be in great hands.”