Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler was named New Mexico Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year by the New Mexico Bar Association.
The award is given annually to a New Mexico prosecutor “who has gone above and beyond his or her duties as a prosecutor by providing leadership, support and assistance to law enforcement officers within his or her district,” according to a news release from Chandler’s office.
The district attorney elected to represent Curry and Roosevelt counties, Chandler was nominated for the honor by law enforcement officers in his district for supporting their investigation of cases, providing them with legal training and success prosecuting cases, the news release said.
With more than 200 prosecutors in New Mexico, Chandler said he was “extremely surprised” to be selected for the honor.
“I was shocked,” he said.
Curry County Sheriff Deputy Sandy Loomis stated in his nomination letter, “I consider Matthew Chandler to be the most devoted and most professional prosecuting attorney I have had the pleasure to work with in almost 33 years of being a peace officer,” according to the release from Chandler’s office.
Chandler earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern New Mexico University in criminal justice and his law degree at the University of Tulsa in 2001. He started his legal career at a civil law firm in Albuquerque.
Having grown up in a local law enforcement family — Chandler’s father, Caleb Chandler, retired in 1990 as Clovis Police Chief — he moved back to Clovis in April 2002. He became an assistant district attorney in August 2002 and took over district attorney duties in November 2004.
Chandler received the award Thursday at the annual New Mexico District Attorney’s Conference.