New Mexico Public Safety Secretary Mark Shea Departs

New Mexico Public Safety Secretary Mark Shea


SANTA FE — New Mexico Public Safety Secretary Mark Shea was dismissed Friday. 

The state administration is taking the opportunity of a leadership change to strengthen the mission of the Department of Public Safety to deliver vigorous and smart-on-crime statewide law enforcement, with a renewed emphasis on community police work and the unequivocal protection of New Mexicans’ civil rights.

State Police Chief Tim Johnson will serve as interim secretary. Deputy Chief Robert Thornton will serve as interim state police chief. The administration has begun a search for a replacement secretary. 

Johnson has served in various leadership roles at the agency since 2000 and as state police chief since April 2019. Thornton also began his career with the department in 2000 and served as a major before being named a deputy chief in 2019.

“I want to thank Secretary Shea for his service to the state,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “The Department of Public Safety plays an essential role. Our employees and officers are duty-bound to equitably protect and dutifully serve New Mexicans, and I am confident they will continue to meet and exceed the expectation of communities all across the state.”

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