SANTA FE — New Mexico welcomed 53 new certified police officers Thursday to the law enforcement community at a New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) graduation.
The police officers represented 23 city, county, tribal, university and state (game and fish, state parks, attorney general’s office, etc.) agencies.
The 53 police cadets crossed the dais at the Santa Fe Indian School Gymnasium receiving their New Mexico police officer’s certification, and then immediately were administered the oath of office, completing their transformation from everyday citizen to law enforcement officer. Officials welcomed the new officers into a larger family of about 6,000 certified New Mexico police officers.
“These new officers have chosen to pursue one of the most difficult and courageous professions. The standards are high, and it requires dedication and commitment. I’m very proud of these cadets,” DPS Secretary Jason R. Bowie said.
The cadets embarked on 727 hours of practical and physical training Jan. 28, 2023.
“These brave women and men bring great hope to our communities with one job in mind: keeping New Mexico safe. “I have enjoyed watching class 205 grow together. They have limitless potential,” said DPS Deputy Secretary Benjamin A. Baker, who is the acting Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) director. “The 17-week curriculum included constitutional policing in accordance with current federal and state case law; de-escalation of force; crisis resolution; dealing with the mentally ill; conflict management; identifying human trafficking in the context of patrol operations; ethics; cultural diversity; officer survival; bomb recognition; gangs and terrorism; and patrolling in the community (Community Policing).”
During the ceremony the academy recognized several cadets who excelled in various skills and academics, including Marc Jimenez, New Mexico State Parks, top driver; Kieffer Nymark, Santa Fe Police Department, top shooter; Seth Taylor, Roswell Police Department, fitness milestone award; Marcus Martinez, Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, fitness excellence; Justin Barba, Belen Police Department, academic achievement; and Class 205 Valedictorian Victor Munoz, San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office.
All cadet or recruit classes that graduate from any of the nine authorized regional or satellite New Mexico academies must complete the standardized curriculum. In Fiscal Year 2023, which began July 1, 2022, the Santa Fe based academy has graduated 118 certified police officers, and 85 police telecommunicators, also known as dispatchers.
The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy is a division of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, whose mission is to provide vital leadership, scientific, training, technical, and operational support to the criminal justice community and the public. The Law Enforcement Academy manages training, accreditation, and certification of law enforcement officers and telecommunicators in New Mexico, including misconduct investigations and compliance with state statutes and administrative rules.