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How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in New Mexico

Bernalillo County Sheriff Department Jobs

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:

  1. Satisfy BCSO qualifications for hire and apply
  2. Pass two written examinations
  3. Take physical agility test
  4. Participate in oral board interview
  5. Complete two questionnaires
  6. Satisfy a background investigation
  7. Take a polygraph examination
  8. Undergo a psychological evaluation
  9. 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.

Dona Aña County Sheriff Department Jobs

Dona Aña County, in south-central New Mexico, covers an area of 3,815 square miles and is home to 209,233 residents. The Dona Aña Sheriff’s Office (DASO) is headquartered in Las Cruces and is the second largest county sheriff’s department in the state. During a one-year period (2007), the Dona Aña County Sheriff’s Office deputies accomplished all of the following:

  • Documented more than 12,000 offenses/incidents.
  • Arrested more than 700 impaired drivers.
  • Investigated approximately 1,300 felony cases.
  • Issued over 29,000 traffic citations.
  • Responded to approximately 30,000 calls for service.

If you are interested in learning how to become a Dona Aña County deputy sheriff you must complete each of the following nine steps:

  1. Qualification
  2. Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Interview
  5. Polygraph
  6. Background Investigation
  7. Physical Agility Test
  8. Psychological Evaluation
  9. Training Academy

Step 1. Qualification

Make sure you qualify for available Dona Aña County deputy sheriff jobs. Minimum qualifications for Dona Aña County deputy sheriff jobs are as follows:

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • High school graduate (or GED)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Bi-lingual English-Spanish speakers given preference

Grounds for immediate disqualification:

  • Dishonorable military discharge
  • Felony or manslaughter conviction involving moral depravity
  • DUI arrest within last three years

Step 2. Application

Go to job listings to peruse the list of job openings and click on “apply” to download an application form. You can either complete the form online or mail to the Dona Aña County Sheriff’s Office, 845 N. Motel Blvd., Las Cruses. NM 88007. You can also call the sheriff’s office at 575-525-19111 for job information.

Step 3. Written Examination

Take and pass a written examination that covers general knowledge subjects like reading comprehension, basic math, vocabulary and logical reasoning.

Step 4. Interview

Attend an oral interview with a DASO staff member. Be sure to wear business attire and express yourself clearly and thoughtfully.

Step 5. Polygraph

You will be asked to take a lie detector test. You should have no problem if you answer all questions both here and on your application truthfully.

Step 6. Background Investigation

There will be a thorough investigation of your past school, employment, financial and family histories.

Step 7. Physical Agility Test

You must pass a physical agility test prescribed by the New Mexico Police Officer Standards and Training Agency. It includes such activities as sit-ups, push-ups, running and an obstacle course.

Step 8. Psychological Evaluation

You will be evaluated by a police department psychologist to make sure your disposition is suitable for the rigors of police work in New Mexico.

Step 9. Academy

You will attend a training period at the New Mexico Police Officer Training Academy followed by a probationary period working with an experienced officer.

The duties/responsibilities carried out by DASO deputy sheriffs include:

  • Answering calls or complaints for things like accidents, domestic disputes, robberies, assaults, etc.
  • Patrolling in a radio-equipped car, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or on foot.
  • Assuming control at traffic accident scenes.
  • Apprehending suspects.
  • Securing crime scenes.
  • Conducting preliminary investigations of criminal acts.
  • Organizing/mAñaging D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T programs.
  • Presenting evidence in court.
  • Community Policing./arbitrating family or neighborhood disputes.
  • Working with the canine unit, bomb squad or special response unit.
  • Recovering stolen property.

DASO deputy sheriffs earn an hourly wage of $16.77 to $19.30. Benefits include mental/dental insurance; paid sick leave, vacation and personal day; retirement plan; and education assistance.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Department Jobs

The U.S. Census Bureau defines Santa Fe County as the “Santa Fe Metropolitan Statistical Area” since its 1,911 square miles lie within New Mexico’s capital city and its suburbs. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, located at 305 Camino Justica, Santa Fe 87508, is dedicated to the health, safety and welfare of the 145,648 residents it serves.

How You Can Become a Deputy Sheriff in Santa Fe

This guide describes the Santa Fe hiring process and takes you through the steps you need to take in learning how to become a Santa Fe deputy sheriff cadet.

  1. Qualify
  2. Apply
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Agility Test
  5. Oral Interview
  6. Background Investigation, Psychological Test and Medical Exam
  7. Academy

Step 1. Qualify

You must meet the following requirements before your application will be accepted:

  • You must be at least 21 years old by the time you finish the academy.
  • You must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.

NOTE: If you are applying for Deputy Sheriff II, rather than cadet, you must also have at least one year of relevant law enforcement experience.

Step 2. Apply

Go to Santa Fe County’s job opportunities website to see if there are openings for Sheriff Deputy Cadet. Click link for the online application, complete and submit as directed.

You may call Santa Fe County Recruiter Corporal Diego Lucero, at 505/986-2414, if you have questions.

Step 3. Written Examination

You will be required to pass a multiple-choice examination that includes 100 general knowledge questions.

Step 4. Physical Agility Test

You must pass a physical agility test that consists of the following components:

  • One-minute continuous push-ups
  • One-minute continuous sit-ups
  • 1.5-mile run
  • 300-meter run

The number and/or timing of each component will be adjusted according to your gender and age. For example, males and females aged 20-29 are required to do 29 or 23 push-ups, and 38 or 32 sit-ups respectively. Those numbers drop to 18 or 13, 29 or 20 for individuals between the ages of 40 and 49. Males and females 20 to 29 years old must complete the 1.5 mile run in 13.9 or 14.45 minutes respectively, while males/females aged 40-49 must complete it in 14.30 or 15.45 minutes respectively. It is recommended that you practice all of the exercises before taking the test.

Step 5. Oral Interview

You will be questioned in person by a panel of approximately three individuals from the sheriff’s office and the county human resources department. Wear business attire, speak clearly and truthfully, and be as personable as possible.

Step 6. Background Investigation, Psychological Test and Medical Exam

There will be an in-depth investigation of your school, employment and police records, credit history, personal relationship with drugs/alcohol and driving performance.

Once cleared through a federal and state background check, you will be required to submit to a psychological test and medical exam to ensure you have the psychological and physical fortitude to become an effective deputy sheriff in Santa Fe County.

Step 7. Academy

You will be required to spend 22 weeks at a training academy in Santa Fe sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Your time at the state-of-the-arts academy will be divided between classroom instruction and fieldwork.

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Departments

After graduation from the academy, you will be assigned to a specific area, such as:

  • Accident Investigation
  • Animal Control
  • Community Support Services
  • Computer Forensics Lab
  • Court Security Services
  • Criminal Investigation Bureau
  • DUI Unit
  • Evidence Division
  • Narcotics Division
  • Patrol Division
  • Warrants Division

The starting salary for Santa Fe County Sheriff Deputy Cadets is $18,191.50.

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