When you think of a sheriff, do you think of someone who goes shopping with children, feeds the hungry, and promotes the shooting sports? Perhaps you should, because those are just some of the ways that Sheriff Tony Mace serves his community in Cibola County, N.M.
As sheriff, Tony desires to do everything in his power to prevent crime and to ensure the safety of his community. He serves as Vice President of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association and as an Executive Board Member and Treasurer of the Western States Sheriffs’ Association. These groups bring sheriffs together to learn from each other, work to develop guidelines, and promote uniformity about issues that are important to sheriffs across the region. One way that Tony supports these missions is by talking with state legislators about those issues. In 2017 he spent the entire 60-day legislative session personally talking to every state Representative and Senator—sometimes driving two hours each way from his county—to argue against anti-Second Amendment bills in New Mexico. He has testified numerous times on various Second Amendment and domestic violence bills, along with traveling across the state to testify on behalf of the Sheriffs’ Associations at local city boards to fight against adverse firearms laws and for stronger criminal laws to keep communities safe. “His dedication to this country is unmatched,” remarked NRA Field Representative Kevin Post.
On the local level Tony works to get his community involved in preventing crime by partnering with the Cibola County Crime Stoppers, an organization that provides anonymous tips. He also coordinates with the county DWI program to eliminate drunk driving accidents, reduce drug abuse and prevent underage drinking. Partnering with Youth Visions, the sheriff helps forward its mission to offer support and counseling to youth.
Tony has a particular passion for helping children in his community. As the County Coordinator for Shop with Cops—which pairs children with local officers to go Christmas shopping for their families—he helps provide opportunities that foster positive relationships between officers and youth while giving participants a fun-filled day. He also assists with fundraising for the Rotary Club's “Fill the Backpack” program to provide hungry kids with the food they need.
The dedication to youth causes extends to Tony’s interest in the shooting sports and respect for the military as well. Tony serves as the local coordinator for the NRA Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program because he believes in its mission to ensure that children will know what to do if they find a firearm.
Last year he provided a police escort from airport to high school for the third-time National Champion Cibola High School Marine Corps JROTC drill team. He had aided in raising the $50,000 the team needed for travel to the national drill championship in Florida. On top of everything else, Tony is also a charter member of American Legion Post 80, joining with other veterans to advocate patriotism and to mentor the next generation.
Last but certainly not least, Tony is a dedicated volunteer for Cibola County Friends of NRA. His passion for this program is undeniably evident when he talks about it. It is just as apparent in the energy he gives to the cause throughout the year and on the day of the event. After selling pre-event raffle and event tickets in preparation for the event, Tony shows up early for set up when the day arrives. He proceeds to assist at the treasure’s table, welcome every person who comes in the door, speak about The NRA Foundation grant program and how it helps kids in Cibola County, and stay after to help clean up. “The best part is that he always has fun and makes it fun for everyone involved,” said Post.
Sheriff Mace is truly a man of the community and is involved with every cause out there. He seeks to better his community in every way that he can and to assist as many people as possible. Tony truly goes above and beyond in his roles as Sheriff and Friends of NRA volunteer to make Cibola County the best that it can be and promote the safety and freedom of his community members there and around the country.