EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Tuesday night the Socorro ISD Board decided to terminate the Chief of Police Jose Castorena’s contract. The motion passed, two to four.

According to the SISD website, Castorena has been an employee of the district for 26 years and with the police department for 10 years.

The board went into executive session for an hour and a half before coming out and announcing their decision.

SISD Superintendent Dr. Nate Carmen spoke with the media following the board’s decision, saying he could not speak about personal matters regarding why the decision to terminate Castorena was made.

However, he did explain who has been handling the department since Castorena was put on leave and who will continue for now.

“There’s a full command structure in our department, we employ over 50 officers, the second in command Lieutenant Johnson has been at the helm ever since Chief Castorena was placed on leave I believe he has been doing a very solid job in ensuring that our campuses are covered adequately with an officer on every campus,” said Carmen.

During public comment, one El Pasoan voiced his concerns at Tuesday’s meeting. While some off-duty SISD officers attended to show their support for Castorena.

“We have to put our kid’s safety first, we have to realize if we do eliminate chief Castorena there’s going to be a vacancy. How are we going to handle that, are we going to promote from within, are we going to hire from outside,” said Carrejo.

Superintendent Dr. Carmen says the position will be posted and he says the district will hire the best candidate that applies that meets the qualifications.

“Whether it’s internal or external it will be open to all who are qualified,” said Carmen.

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