Judge will Be Missed
By Michael BromkaRetired Carlsbad Municipal Judge David Redford passed away c. 1 a.m. in ICU at Lubbock’s UMC on Wednesday. He’d been troubled by neuropathy plus cardiac issues, and had undergone recent surgery to install a pacemaker. Born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri —a modest riverside city like Carlsbad —David excelled in sports but not in academics. After dropping out of college, he enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He served as a Military Policeman. Law enforcement suited him, so he worked in railroad police as an initial career, then as a deputy marshall in Mesilla NM while studying for his bachelors degree in Police Science at NMSU. He went on to earn a Masters degree in Social Justice.David noticed that Security work, L.E. careers and advancement in the Rio Grande corridor were mostly enjoyed by locals. A promising job opened at NMSU Carlsbad to teach Sociology and he landed the position. Thus the one-time party-boy flunk-out became professor —and an avid one. His humble origin in academia helped David relate to all students. And two decades in L.E. gave him thorough grounding to research new courses he offered each semester.David’s popularity as a professor circulated via word-of-mouth, helping his 2004 campaign for Municipal Judge —which he won by 19 votes. Local police, residents, lawyers, and defendants found him levelheaded and relatable. Collis Johnson, bailiff Hank Beason and all staff at Muni Court kept their ever hectic work efficient and congenial. David won re-election twice and served twelve years.David had campaigned for Judge as “Firm, Fair, Savvy” and lived up to that ethic. When a seatbelt infraction threatened one working man’s license, David imposed fines plus warnings —not suspension —to ensure that man could still drive and work. For “contempt of court,” David jailed his 3-time campaign manager for ten days in ECDC. Firm and fair. Go glean some savvy.NMSU-C on-campus “politics” cost David an uncomfortable diminution of income. Two among his colleagues opined that day work as judge diminished his capabilities as professor in the evenings. On NMSC main campus plus across the USA, many full time professors have ancillary careers. Judicial experience enhanced his teaching, David contended. No matter. For the remainder of his career as judge, he got “busted” back to halftime teaching and salary. Converging his two careers, David took part in a seminar amid judges the world over at England’s prestigious Oxford University. Thereafter with a wink, he was an Oxford scholar.Veteran airman and cop, David sported a gruff sense of humor, which many enjoyed while others eye-rolled. Throughout David’s Carlsbad years, he often visited daughter Samantha and granddaughter Aiden (“the light of my life!”) in Las Cruces.David might have moved to Las Cruces but for his rapport in Carlsbad —and one other thing. He loved his home nestled in the canyon behind CEMRC near NMSU-C. Occasionally in the winter former Magistrate Judge Henry Castañeda hauled a bale of hay to pitch outside David’s living-room window. For ensuing weeks, deer nibbled. They invoked memory of Obi, his “obsidian” horse who’d grazed there many years.David enjoyed frequent visits from friends bringing local news. At home he watched westerns and read. After his anti-COVID vaccination, he enjoyed errands, events, and dining among townsfolk. David Redford will be missed.