With 670,978 residents, Bernalillo is the most populous county in New Mexico. Its 1,169 square miles are all within the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area. New recruits begin their careers in the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office BCSO) as Cadets and move up to deputy after training. The BCSO encompasses the administrative headquarters in Albuquerque, the Metro Air Unit and field services. The latter includes three divisions:
- Crime Investigation. Investigates violent crimes, narcotics violations and white collar crimes. Includes CSI and gang units. Ensures sexual offender registrations; works with FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency task forces.
- Judicial Operations. Responsible for court security, prisoner extraditions and warrant enforcement. Includes crime analysis and DA liaison units.
- Professional Standards. Manages DARE and GREAT programs, school programs, recruitment, in-service training and the training academy.
The BCSO recruiting department is responsible for hiring all personnel. The 10 steps you must take to become a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s cadet are:
- Satisfy BCSO qualifications for hire and apply
- Pass two written examinations
- Take physical agility test
- Participate in oral board interview
- Complete two questionnaires
- Satisfy a background investigation
- Take a polygraph examination
- Undergo a psychological evaluation
- Attend deputy sheriff’s training academy
Step 1. Satisfy Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Qualifications for Hire and Apply
Qualifications for the job of BCSO cadet include:
- Must be 21 years old prior to academy graduation
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must hold a valid New Mexico driver’s license
- Must be a high school graduate or have equivalent diploma
- Better than 20/100 vision and/or 20/30 with corrective eyewear
Any of the following will result in immediate disqualification:
- Domestic violence or felony conviction.
- Poor driving history or DUI arrest.
- Illegal drug usage in past three years.
- Chronic financial/credit problems.
- Dishonorable military discharge.
- Evidence of untruthfulness or lack of personal integrity.
Apply online. You can request additional information from the BCSO Recruiting Unit, 6900 4th St., Albuquerque 87107.
Step 2. Pass Two Written Examinations
A timed 35-minute test of vocabulary and reading comprehension is followed by a 48-minute Law Enforcement Selection Inventory examination which covers math, vocabulary, grammar and logic. Sample questions can be seen at the application website.
Step 3. Physical Agility Test
Fifteen minutes of stretching will be followed by:
- A 1-1/2-mile run
- Sit and reach exercises
- One minute of continuous push-ups
- One minute of continuous sit-ups
- 300-meter sprint
You will have a five-minute rest between each component. If you fail, you have one retest opportunity within four weeks.
Step 4. Oral Board Interview
You will be interviewed by a panel comprised of a BCSO lieutenant, sergeant and deputy. You are advised to dress appropriately and think before answering questions.
Step 5. Questionnaires
You must complete a Personal Integrity Questionnaire and a Personal History Statement.
Step 6. Background Investigation
There will be an exhaustive investigation of your school, employment, driving and credit histories. Employers, relatives, friends and neighbors may be contacted. The process takes four to six weeks.
Step 7. Polygraph Examination
You will be given a lie-detector test to determine the truthfulness of your answers to the Personal Integrity and Personal History questionnaires.
Step 8. Psychological Evaluation
The four-hour evaluation will include your completion of a multiple-choice written exam followed by a personal interview with the department psychologist.
Step 9. Deputy Sheriff’s Academy
You will attend daily training sessions at the Deputy Sheriff’s Academy in Albuquerque. There will be some overnights.
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Salaries/Benefits
Annual BCSO salaries are:
- Cadet: $36,920
- Deputy Second Class: $41,475 to $43,160
- Deputy First Class: $50,024 to $52,062.
Benefits include medical and dental insurance; paid training, sick leave and vacations; retirement fund; clothing allowance; and academic incentives.