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How to Become a Police Officer in New Mexico

Becoming a Police Officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Police Department (505-768-2200), which was founded in 1898, consists of 1,097 police officers that oversee 188 square miles and a population of nearly 546,000.

If you are interested in jobs with the Albuquerque Police Department you must understand how to become a police officer by meeting the established requirements. This guide, provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a police officer in Albuquerque:

  1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment
  2. Submit an Interest Card
  3. Complete Three-Day Testing
  4. Undergo a Background Investigation
  5. Take a Polygraph Examination and a Psychological Interview
  6. Interview with the Chief’s Selection Board
  7. Pass Medical Examinations
  8. Attend the Police Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment

All candidates for Albuquerque police jobs must meet minimum requirements for employment. You must therefore determine if you meet these minimum requirements before applying for a job with the Albuquerque Police Department:

  • You must be at least 21 years old by the time you graduate from the police academy.
  • You must have no misdemeanor convictions within the last 3 years.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You must be a United States citizen.
  • You must have no felony convictions.
  • In the last 5 years you must have no DWI convictions.
  • You must have no domestic violence convictions.
  • In the last 3 years you must have no misdemeanor drug convictions.
  • In the last 5 years you must have no felony drug convictions.
  • You must have at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university. College credit requirements may be waived if you have at least 3 years of military service and an honorable discharge.

Step 2. Submit an Interest Card

All candidates for Albuquerque police jobs must complete an Interest Card and submit it to the Recruiting Unit. The Recruiting Unit will contact you with the next steps in the selection process if you meet all eligibility requirements.

Step 3. Complete Three-Day Testing

All testing during the three-day testing process takes place at the APD Academy, 5412 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107.

Day 1: You must complete the Police Entrance Exam (You can prepare for the Police Entrance Exam by reading the Study Guide.) and Personal Integrity Questionnaire.

Day 2: You must take the Physical Fitness Test, which includes: a 1.5-mile run; a 300-meter run; a flexibility test; a one-minute push-up test; and a one-minute sit-up test. You can read more about the Physical Fitness Requirements here.

Day 3: You must take the Written Psychological Exam, submit a Personal History Statement (which must be completed before arriving on this day), and submit a signed copy of the online City of Albuquerque Application for Police Cadet Employment.

Step 4. Undergo a Background Investigation

Candidates who pass the three-day testing and are selected to continue on with the employment process will undergo a thorough background investigation.

Step 5. Take a Polygraph Examination and a Psychological Interview

All candidates who pass the Background Investigation may continue on with the employment process, which includes taking a Polygraph Examination and a Psychological Interview.

Step 6. Interview with the Chief’s Selection Board

Interviewing with the Chief’s Selection Board may consist of an oral interview and a conditional offer of employment.

Step 7. Pass Medical Examinations

Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment are required to undergo medical examinations, including vision, hearing, medical and drug tests.

Step 8. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits must complete training through the Albuquerque Police Academy.

Becoming a Police Officer in Las Cruces, New Mexico

The Las Cruces Police Department (575-528-4200) consists of 269 commission police officers and civilian employees who are tasked with overseeing the 77 square miles of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

This guide is designed to serve individuals who want to learn how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Las Cruces:

  1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment
  2. Apply for Employment
  3. Take the Written Examination
  4. Take the Physical Assessment
  5. Undergo a Background Investigation
  6. Undergo a Psychological Examination and Interview
  7. Pass the Medical Examination and Drug Screen
  8. Attend the Las Cruces Police Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment

Before applying for Las Cruces police jobs it is important to first determine if you meet the minimum employment requirements as set forth by the Las Cruces Police Department. All candidates must:

  • Be at least 19 by the time you start the police academy
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have no DWI/DUI misdemeanor convictions within the past 3 years
  • Not use illegal drugs
  • Have a valid driver’s license

Step 2. Apply for Employment

The first step to becoming a Police Officer in Las Cruces is completing and submitting an online application for employment using the City of Las Cruces online portal. You must first register to create an online account.

You may refer to the Online Employment Application Guide for assistance with completing the online application.

Step 3. Take the Written Examination

Candidates who meet minimum requirements for employment will be contacted to take the written examination, which is administered by the City’s Human Resources Department. All candidates who pass the written exam will be placed on the police recruit eligibility list.

Step 4. Take the Physical Assessment

Candidates who pass the written examination are invited to attend the physical assessment the next day. You may view the Primary Fitness Screening Standards here.

Step 5. Undergo a Background Investigation

Candidates must complete a Personal History Statement, which is used for the background investigation.

Step 6. Undergo a Psychological Examination and Interview

Candidates on the eligibility list are required to undergo a psychological examination and interview, including a polygraph examination.

Step 7. Pass the Medical Examination and Drug Screen

The last step of the employment process includes passing a medical examination and drug screen.

Step 8. Attend the Las Cruces Police Academy

All new recruits, upon being hired, must attend the Las Cruces Police Academy. Upon graduation from the Academy, all new hires must complete a 14-week Field Training and Evaluation Program.

Becoming a Police Officer in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

The Rio Rancho Police Department is responsible for overseeing the 75,000 residents of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Rio Rancho is the third largest city – and one of the fastest growing cities – in New Mexico.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for those interested in learning how to become a police officer in Rio Rancho:

  1. Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements
  2. Submit a Preliminary Application
  3. Complete a Physical Fitness Assessment
  4. Complete the Written Examination
  5. Undergo an Oral Board Interview
  6. Undergo a Background Investigation
  7. Receive Conditional Offer of Employment
  8. Complete Medical and Psychological Testing
  9. Complete Academy Training

Step 1: Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements

If you want to learn how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Rio Rancho you must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Hold a valid New Mexico driver’s license
  • Have no felony charges or convictions
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no violations of any federal or state laws related to controlled substances; aggravated assault; theft; driving while intoxicated; or controlled substances
  • Have no dishonorable discharge from the U.S. military

Step 2. Submit a Preliminary Application

Once you determine you meet all minimum qualifications for Rio Rancho Police Jobs you may submit an online Preliminary Application Form through the Rio Rancho Online Job Application System.

Step 3. Complete a Physical Fitness Assessment

You will be required to perform a 1.5-mile run; a sit and reach; bench presses; sit-ups; and leg presses. Individuals who pass the Physical Fitness Assessment are eligible to take the written examination.

Once you receive notification from the Department (by mail) of your testing date you must download and print the Medical Clearance Form and ask your physician to complete it. The Medical Clearance Form must be completed before you can begin testing.

Step 4. Complete the Written Examination

The written examination, which occurs on the same day as the Physical Fitness Assessment, is a validated police officer examination that tests spelling, math, reading and writing skills, and comprehension. Candidates must score 70 percent or better to pass.

Step 5. Undergo an Oral Board Interview

Only those candidates that pass the written examination can move on to the oral review interview section of the employment process. The structured Oral Board interview consists of Department members who assess a candidate’s education, work, and life experiences.

Step 6. Undergo a Background Investigation

Only those candidates who are recommended by the Oral Board undergo a background investigation.

Step 7. Receive Conditional Offer of Employment

Once your background investigation has been reviewed by the Training and Recruiting staff, all information is forwarded to the Chief of Police, who then reviews your application to determine if you will be offered a Conditional Offer of Employment.

Step 8.  Complete Medical and Psychological Testing

Only those candidates who receive a Conditional Offer of Employment undergo a medical exam, psychological screening, and drug testing by the Rio Rancho Police Department.

Step 9. Complete Academy Training

All new hires (called Cadets) must attend Basic Police Officer Training Academy at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Training Center in Santa Fe or the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Academy. Upon completion of Academy training, officers must complete a field training program, which lasts between 12 and 14 weeks.

Becoming a Police Officer in Roswell, New Mexico

The sworn officers of the Roswell Police Department (575-624-6770) are responsible for patrolling the 29 square miles or Roswell and providing law enforcement and community services to the 53,000 citizens of the city.

This guide provides you with specific actions to take if you want to learn how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Roswell.

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Submit an Application for Employment
  3. Complete a Physical Fitness Evaluation
  4. Take the Written Examination
  5. Interview with Department Officers
  6. Undergo Remaining Department Testing
  7. Attend the Police Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Before applying for Roswell police jobs, you must first determine if you meet the Department’s minimum employment requirements, which include:

  • You must be at least 21 years old at the time of application.
  • You must be a high school graduate or GED certificate holder.
  • You must be in good health.
  • You must have no history of crimes or convictions of moral turpitude.
  • You must have a good driving record and a valid New Mexico driver’s license.
  • You must have 20/30 eyesight (corrected or uncorrected).

Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment

You can pick up an employment application at the Personnel Offices in City Hall, which is located at 425 North Richardson in Roswell. You may also contact the Personnel Offices at 505-624-6700, ext. 268 if you need an application mailed to you.

Step 3. Complete a Physical Fitness Evaluation

All candidates contacted by the Department are required to take a Physical Fitness Evaluation, which is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Step 4. Take the Written Examination

Only those candidates who pass the Physical Fitness Evaluation are invited to complete the Written Examination.

Step 5. Interview with Department Officers

Only those candidates who successfully pass the written examination will be interviewed by a board of officers within the Roswell Police Department.

Step 6. Undergo Remaining Department Testing

Candidates recommended by the interview board of officers are given a conditional offer of employment, at which time all remaining testing will begin. In particular, you must undergo a polygraph exam, background investigation, a psychological evaluation, and a medical evaluation.

Step 7. Attend the Police Academy

All new cadets must complete training through the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe, which includes a 22-week course resulting in state certification.

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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