The mayor of the tiny town of Lake Arthur, New Mexico, has shut down his town’s volunteer reserve-officer program after it was reported they awarded a badge to Trump-backing billionaire Robert Mercer, reports Bloomberg.
According to the report, Mayor Ysidro Salazar issued a statement saying he has shuttered his town’s volunteer reserve-officer program and has instructed current officers to return their credentials which allowed them to concealed carry in all 50 states.
Responding to a Businessweek story that reported that out-of-towner Mercer was given a badge that also allowed him to carry a weapon, the mayor said it was time to shut the whole program down.
“Because of the notoriety this was bringing, I decided to go ahead and disassemble the unit,” Salazar said, before adding the report, “didn’t put the town in a very good light.”
Along with shutting down the program, Salazar put Police Chief William Norwood, who oversaw it while serving as the town’s only full-time paid police officer, on administrative leave, pending a hearing by city officials represent the town’s 433 residents. Previously 150 volunteers were authorized by the the department, but that number had been decreased to 84 badge-carriers.
According to the report, the issuance of the badge allows the bearer to carry in every state based upon 2004 federal law.