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New detention center administrator introduced

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Chaves County has hired a new administrator for its detention center who will begin work officially on Nov. 29.

Justin Porter will replace Daniel Ornelas, who has retired, according to Chaves County Manager Bill Williams.

Porter “is already devoting his own personal time, coming to visit a little bit and seeing how our operations are and (working) toward improving things there,” said Williams during a Thursday meeting of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

Porter said he already has met some “excellent staff” with the county and is assessing current operations and detention center employees. He said he plans to develop recommendations that could improve operations at the detention site, which has received state accreditation several times. Porter said changes likely will include additional training for officers to improve efficiencies and inform them about legal and other issues of concern to New Mexico detention facilities.

Porter described his professional background as including 14 years with the Doña Ana County Detention Center and serving for five years with the Roosevelt County Detention Center, including as its administrator.

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He told commissioners he also serves as the chairman of the Detention Affiliate and the Adult Detention Professional Standards Council of the New Mexico Counties, the professional training and advocacy group for county government employees.

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