Former Ruidoso Downs Police Chief Al Ortiz died Friday morning.

"He had been feeling poorly for the past couple of weeks but was still working," Ruidoso Police Special Agent and former Ruidoso Police Chief Dick Swenor said. "He collapsed leaving work yesterday and they were not able to bring him back."

Ortiz, 62, was in Austin, Texas, where he worked as a fraud investigator for the state of Texas. He took that job in March 2012, leaving his position as police chief in Natalia, Texas.

Ortiz was Ruidoso Downs police chief from October 2006 until November 2011. He was a 20-year veteran of law enforcement with the Texas Department of Public Safety and a native of El Paso, Texas.

"This saddens me tremendously," Swenor said. "He was a good man."

The former mayor of Ruidoso Downs echoed that sentiment.

"He was a good man," Tom Armstrong said.

Services for Ortiz are scheduled for Friday, March 8, at 2 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 5750 Doniphan Drive, El Paso, Texas.

Representatives from police departments in New Mexico and Texas are expected to attend.



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