Foster, 38, was recently selected out of a national pool of 48 applicants as one of the top three finalists for Santa Fe police chief. Espanola Public Safety Director Eric Garcia got the job and last Friday, Bloomfield City Manager David Fuqua contacted Foster and offered him the police chief position in Bloomfield.
“He was the best – it’s as simple as that,” City Manager David Fuqua said during a telephone interview today. “We had a process that involved three interview groups including citizens, police personnel and the city council and in all three groups Randy scored higher than anyone. So we followed the process … did the background check and talked to lots of people and he seems to be a really good fit.”
Foster spoke with the Los Alamos Daily Post today about his new position and how difficult it will be for him to leave Los Alamos where he has lived nearly all of his life.
“There’s no doubt I will miss this community tremendously,” Foster said. “But I am really looking forward to this new opportunity – it will be an exciting challenge.”
Foster is a deputy with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Robert A. Garcia spoke about Foster’s leaving during an interview today.
“Randy has done a great job for me … he’s very loyal and committed to his work,” Garcia said. “He used to be the interim police chief in Los Alamos and I met him and I hired him and he’s been committed to my agency for the year or so he’s worked here. My feeling is he’ll do a good job for Bloomfield but I hate losing him – I really do.”
Bloomfield is a city in San Juan County that is part of the Farmington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population is about 10,000. The Bloomfield Police Department was established in 1953 and today the department employs 19 sworn officers, one community service officer and three support staff.
Before joining the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office last year, Foster served with the Los Alamos County Police Department for 15 years. He rose through the ranks and was appointed acting chief in November 2012, following the medical leave of Chief Wayne Torpy.
During his time as acting chief, Foster and two other LAPD officers dealt with a detective reported to have made threats against children and adults in the community. The detective underwent a mental evaluation, sued Los Alamos County and received a settlement before moving out of state. Foster and two other officers have legal action pending against the county in this matter.
Foster is a 2010 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders. The program serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies and raise law enforcement standards, knowledge and cooperation. Participants study law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication, and health and fitness. They also participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, and share ideas, techniques and experiences with other law enforcement leaders.
While at the FBI National Academy, Foster earned a “Yellow Brick” awarded to those individuals able to complete a 6.1-mile grueling run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines. Along the way, the participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water, maneuver across a cargo net and much more.
Foster graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1994. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Accounting from Eastern New Mexico University. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice with Honors from New Mexico State University. He and his wife Shayna, a veterinarian, have three-year-old twin sons.
Foster will begin his nearly $90,000 a year job as chief of the Bloomfield Police Department Aug. 4.