LOS LUNAS— Following the retirement of former Los Lunas Police Department deputy chief Vince Torres at the end of 2021, long-time officer Charlie Files now steps up into second-in-command.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., he moved to Albuquerque at a young age. He said being a police officer was always in his future.
“As I was in high school and starting to finish school, I knew I was too young to join (law enforcement) at that point,” Files said. “I figured the Coast Guard would be a good way to get some experience and set myself up for getting a better chance of getting hired when I got out.”
Files has been with the LLPD for the past 14 years, since retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2007. After leaving the military, he applied to every law enforcement agency in the Albuquerque area, but Los Lunas was the first to offer him a position.
“I’m glad they did because it ended up working really well,” Files said. “I ended up meeting my wife here in Los Lunas, and she is from here, so we have since moved down here.”
Files said the best part of the job is interacting with the community, even though he didn’t necessarily imagine himself in a desk position.
“I think the day-to-day interactions with people, whether or not they are having a good day or a bad day (is the best part),” he said. “Just being a person they are going to call on, one way or another, and be able to figure out their situation, identify the resources and solve whatever problem it is for them.”
Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.