Part III: MTC Otero County Facilities Prove to Be Valuable Community Leaders
In Part III of our look at the value the MTC Otero County facilities bring to their local community, it’s first thing in the morning, and the Chaparral leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run of New Mexico is off.
Providing needed funds for the Special Olympics program, the Otero County facilities are again leading the way in community involvement where they have a long history of service.
Oscar Solis is the operations director of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
“Chaparral is more unique than most communities,” he explains, “because it sits where there’s Otero County Prison Facility where they do inmate fundraising. Every year, Otero County Prison Facility raises anywhere between six to eight thousand dollars that benefit Special Olympics, the athletes who compete and train year-round and state wide.”
The inmate fundraising and the facility service leading up to the event culminates in the Torch Run itself which packs an emotional punch for participants and observers. The Otero County run has gained such a reputation for its energetic and successful participation that the state leaders of the organization wanted to see it in action for themselves.
“So, here’s what’s amazing about this group,” Mr. Soliz goes on. “Number one? Not one of them is complaining about the heat and humidity. They ran on pavement, they ran in traffic that the speed limit is 75 miles an hour. We had officers and their families running this torch happy as happy can be, and they’re doing it for a cause that goes beyond what they’re doing today. It’s bigger than any one of us.”
Captain Robert Ochoa of the Otero County Prison Facility was in charge of the Torch Run and expressed his impressions of uniting with law enforcement agencies and other partners of the area to pull off the event.
“Well, we’re all one family,” he says. “We all depend on each other. We all co-exist. We have to speak to each other. There’s no lines here, we’re all family.”
“I want to thank all the community partners that are always there for us,” says former Warden Rick Martinez of the Otero County Prison Facility. “When we call, they’re really supportive of our institution. We are very proud of them, and our staff, and our residents. Thank you for everything.”
Mr. Solis is impressed with the leaders of the Otero County facilities. “Without the leadership from top to bottom, and bottom to top, this wouldn’t be possible.”
“We have to go out to the community,” says Captain Ochoa, “and educate people about who we are and what we do, and bring positivity to MTC.”