Becoming a Police Officer in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The sworn officers of the Santa Fe Police Department (505-428-3710) are responsible for providing safety, law enforcement, and community services to the 68,000 residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the 1 to 2 million tourists who visit this southwest city every year.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on becoming a Police Officer in Santa Fe:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Submit an Employment Application
  3. Undergo Initial Testing
  4. Undergo a Background Investigation
  5. Undergo a Psychological Evaluation and Polygraph Examination
  6. Undergo a Medical Evaluation and Drug Screen
  7. Attend Police Cadet Training Program


Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

If you want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Santa Fe you must first ensure you meet all minimum eligibility requirements. In particular, all candidates for Santa Fe police jobs must:

  • Have a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Have a New Mexico driver’s license and a good driving record
  • Have no felony convictions or convictions involving moral turpitude
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be a New Mexico resident within 6 months of the hiring date

Step 2. Submit an Employment Application

You can download, print and complete an employment application to begin the employment process. The Santa Fe Police Department Recruiting Packet includes an application, as well as an outline of the recruitment process. You must attach a copy of your high school diploma/GED and your college transcripts (if applicable) to your job application.

Upon completing an employment application, you can mail it or bring it in person to:

Human Resources Department
200 Lincoln Avenue
PO Box 909
Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909

Step 3. Undergo Initial Testing

Upon receiving your employment application, the Human Resources office will review it to ensure you meet all minimum eligibility requirements and then send you a letter inviting you to attend the next scheduled testing date (You can review the 2013 testing dates). The initial testing for becoming a police officer in Santa Fe includes a physical agility test, a written examination, and an interview, all of which is performed on the same day.

The physical agility test, which is based on New Mexico Law Enforcement Agency Standards, includes a 1.5-mile run; a 300-meter run; sit-ups; and a flexibility test. You can review the physical agility test standards here. This is a pass/fail test, and you must pass the test to move on to the written test.

The written test consists of a two-and-a-half-hour, multiple-choice test. You must score at least 65 percent on the test to move on to the interview portion of the initial testing.

Step 4. Submit to an Interview

Upon successfully completing both the physical agility test and the written test, you will interview with the interview committee, consisting of members of the Chief’s administrative team, members of the Santa Fe Police Department, and the Department’s recruiting committee. You will then receive a conditional offer of employment, although your hire will be contingent upon the successful completion of all remaining tests.

Step 5. Final Evaluations and Review for Employment

All candidates must undergo an extensive background investigation performed by the Department’s Background Investigator. After successfully passing the background check, you’ll be required to submit to:

  • A Psychological evaluation and polygraph examination
  • A medical evaluation and drug screen

Step 6. Attend Police Cadet Training Program

Candidates who pass all employment testing are chosen to attend the Police Cadet Training Program, which includes three to four weeks of preliminary training with the Santa Fe Police Department and then a 20-week training program at a state certified police academy.

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