Gov. Lujan Grisham fills top leadership roles in New Mexico State Police
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced the diverse and high-quality leadership team of New Mexico State Police.
Tim Johnson: New Mexico State Police Chief
Nick Aragon: Deputy Chief
Carolyn N. Huynh: Deputy Chief
Robert O. Thornton III: Deputy Chief
“I’m excited to finally announce the incredible team we have built to lead New Mexico State Police,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Our chief and deputies have more than 70 years of experience with the agency, all having served in crucial leadership roles, all having developed into exemplars of duty, service and respect. Chief Johnson, in particular, stands out for his diverse experience with the force and the Department of Public Safety. Our state police officers represent some of the best of New Mexico, and I’m confident the chief and his new deputies will together provide world-class public safety service to the state.”
Chief Tim Johnson began his law enforcement career as a New Mexico State Police recruit in 2000 and has worked with the agency and the Department of Public Safety ever since, building a reputation as a leader with the fortitude to tackle entrenched organizational issues. Following several assignments to various investigation teams focusing on DWIs, homicides, warrant arrests and white collar crime, Johnson was promoted to executive leadership and management of the Investigations Bureau in 2015. He currently oversees the Criminal Investigations and Impact Teams, Narcotics Unit, Special Investigations Division, Technical Unit, and Criminal Enforcement Unit. Over the course of his career, Johnson has worked in every commissioned section, division and bureau of the Department of Public Safety, developing diverse and comprehensive leadership experience as well as hands-on understanding. As a member of the training and recruiting bureau, he was involved in the day-to-day training and mentoring of five New Mexico State Police recruit schools, for several of which he was lead instructor. Johnson also has experience working with federal agencies following his time on the Border Operations Task Force, where he served as a supervisor of other narcotics agents. Johnson, a graduate of Roswell High School, earned an associate’s degree from the New Mexico Military Institute and a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Huron University in Huron, S.D.
Deputy Chief Nick Aragon most recently served as a major for New Mexico State Police, a position held in the Uniform Zone Commander Headquarters since 2017. He has been a member of the state police force since 1998. Aragon has been commander of the state police motor team and has served as the Department of Public Safety’s tribal liaison since 2017. He worked as incident commander for several emergency incidents throughout the state. Across his 24 years of service in law enforcement, Aragon has also helped train and recruit state police officers. He has served as district commander in a pair of agency districts, helping to streamline the gathering of accurate crime and crash statistics between districts and standardizing operational patrol plans and performance measures for all 12 uniform districts. Aragon earned a bachelor’s degree from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa.
Deputy Chief Carolyn N. Huynh has been a member of the state police force since 2003, serving most recently as a lieutenant in the investigations bureau, where she has planned and coordinated impact operations, bringing together local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. There, Huynh supervises more than 20 agency employees and has managed major crime scenes, among other duties. In addition to her varied work with the investigations bureau, Huynh worked in training and recruitment, where she organized and developed curriculum for advanced and biennium trainings for sworn officers and was responsible for both training and professional development of training curriculum. She has served as the state police association president and was the first woman from New Mexico State Police to attend the FBI’s National Academy. Huynh earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of New Mexico.
Deputy Chief Robert O. Thornton III has been a member of the state police force since 2000, most recently serving as a major since 2016, in which role he coordinated the operations for last summer’s National Governors Association conference in Santa Fe. He supervised four districts including Clovis, Espanola, Las Vegas and Santa Fe. Across his state police career, he has supervised and worked in various districts across the state, both urban and rural. He has also investigated internal affairs complaints, conducted internal inquiries and supervised the management of federal and state overtime funding. He was named district 2 Las Vegas Officer of the Year in 2005 and was also the recipient of the meritorious achievement award. Thornton earned a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University.