ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — A slain New Mexico police officer was remembered Saturday as a devoted public servant who loved to joke around but had disdain for anyone in uniform who didn’t work hard.
Hundreds of mourners packed the Tays Center on the New Mexico State University-Alamogordo campus for the funeral service of Officer Clint Corvinus, who was shot and killed last week while pursuing a suspect.
Colleagues described Corvinus as a family man who loved to talk about his daughter and an officer who offered humor and hugs on the job.
Gov. Susana Martinez, who was attending the second officer funeral in less than a month, said Corvinus hit the streets every day knowing he could be in danger.
“We don’t know why tragedies like this happen. But we do know that there are bad people in the world and they do not respect the uniform,” she said. “That’s why our law enforcement professionals like Officer Corvinus put on the uniform every single day.”
Alamogordo Police Chief Daron Syling, who has been chief since May, said he didn’t know Corvinus very well but “I knew what he was made of the first time that I met him.”
Syling recalled asking Corvinus during one of their first one-on-one meetings what he loved most about his job. Corvinus responded without hesitation: helping people.
“He understood that people looked to him, needed his assistance and he loved to help,” Syling said.
The one thing he disliked?
“Slackers,” Syling said. “He dang sure believed that everybody better pull their weight.”
The two men also bonded over a passion for police dogs. Unbeknownst to the chief, Corvinus had already found possible donors for a proposed canine unit. His ultimate goal was to oversee police dogs. Holding back tears, Syling said Corvinus decided to keep working in the field as a training officer.
“He would be faithful to that duty until the end,” Syling said.
Corvinus, who was 33, graduated from high school in the southern New Mexico town. He was with the Alamogordo Police Department for four years. Besides a daughter, police say he is survived by his parents and a girlfriend.
New Mexico State Police say their preliminary investigation shows that Corvinus was shot during a foot pursuit on Sept. 2 by wanted fugitive Joseph Moreno, who had three active warrants for his arrest. Police said another officer, Christopher Welch, fatally shot Moreno, 38.
Corvinus was pronounced dead at a hospital. Three weeks before Corvinus died, police say an Ohio fugitive gunned down Officer Jose Chavez in the village of Hatch.
The funeral follows a candlelight vigil earlier in the week. About 800 people attended the vigil, including members of the Alamogordo Police Department, the New Mexico State Police and Border Patrol.