NMSU honors fallen Hatch officer

Fallen Hatch Police Officer José Ismael Chavez was awarded a posthumous degree during New Mexico State University’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony. Chavez, an NMSU student, died Aug. 12, 2016, after being shot during a traffic stop. “Officer Chavez was a dedicated student and gave his life serving this community,” NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said during the ceremony. “He absolutely earned this degree, and we were proud to present it to his family. He’s a perfect example of how NMSU is a caring community.” Chavez had enrolled in the last semester of earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice the day before his death. Carruthers presented a certificate to Chavez’s mother, Maria Ramirez, and his daughters, Janiley, 14, and Aryam, 6. Ramirez says she was already proud of her son, but now even more so after receiving the posthumous degree. “We are very thankful to NMSU for presenting this degree to us in his honor,” Janiley Chavez says. “We are very proud of him.”

Jane Moorman

Regents Chair Debra Hicks and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers stand with the family of Officer José Ismael Chavez after presenting them with his posthumously awarded degree. Chavez’s mother, Maria Ramirez, holds his photo, along with daughters Aryam and Janiley.