Mountainair Town Council Votes to Hire a New Police Chief

Mountainair Town Council Votes to Hire a New Police Chief
Screen capture of Jimmy Macon from video taken by WTVY-TV/used in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine, 17 USC 107 (1992).

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, the Mountainair Town Council decided to approve the hiring of Jimmy Macon, a law enforcement officer from Florida, as the new police chief in Mountainair. Macon is the first law enforcement employee of the town of Mountainair since the departure of former police chief Juan Reyes in 2022.

Macon has a lengthy history of law enforcement and military work, having risen to the rank of master sergeant in the US Army during his 21 years of enlisted service, according to Macon’s LinkedIn profile. Macon held multiple law enforcement roles during 27 years of law enforcement work, including police chief in Bonifay, Florida, Harpersville, Alabama, and Hawley, Minnesota.

During Macon’s brief tenure (90 days) as police chief in Bonifay, Florida, a political dispute, which involved allegedly violent threats to the mayor, Emily McCann, led to her resignation. The vice-mayor of Bonifay, Larry Cook, terminated Macon immediately following McCann’s resignation, citing “negligence and insubordination” as the basis for the termination. In news reports surrounding the termination, Cook claimed that Macon left his service weapon and badge in a restaurant and was insubordinate by refusing to remove audience members from a city council meeting. Macon responded to this allegation by saying that Bonifay had not yet issued him a service weapon and a badge, and that the incident involving a weapon being left behind in a restaurant involved a personally-owned weapon inside of a bag, not a government-issued firearm. According to news reports, when residents of Bonifay voiced concerns regarding the termination of Macon during the public comment period of a city council meeting, Cook ordered the police to remove them from the meeting.

It is important to note that these news reports are secondary sources, not the direct statements of eyewitnesses, official government records, or sworn testimony given in a courtroom or deposition. In reporting from WMBB-TV, there is audio of Macon explaining that he contacted local law enforcement when he learned the bag containing the weapon had been left behind and that he had recovered his personally-owned firearm without incident.

During the February 20, 2024, town council meeting, Mayor Peter Nieto said that there would be a “meet the chief” event that would be scheduled. Nieto told audience members at this meeting that Macon had passed a background check conducted by a firm named PCI.

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