Largest law enforcement class in state history graduates
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today announced the graduation of the largest class of law enforcement in state history. The police officers represented 30 city, county, tribal, university and state agencies.
The 61 police cadets received their New Mexico police officer’s certification and were administered the oath of office, completing their transformation from everyday citizen to law enforcement officer. Gov. Lujan Grisham and other officials welcomed the new officers into a larger family of about 6,000 certified New Mexico police officers.
“The role that law enforcement plays in our communities cannot be understated, and graduating the largest class in state history will positively impact public safety across New Mexico,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This also demonstrates to me the efficacy of any number of programs, funding and initiatives the state is providing to law enforcement, including to recruit and retain additional officers.”
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 community policing.
“This success is credited to training and recruitment investments in law enforcement by this administration, both in law enforcement programs and infrastructure,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Jason R. Bowie. “We wish these officers the very best as they enter into this profession and navigate the challenges of law enforcement.”
“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 206 grow together. They have limitless potential,” said Sonya K. Chavez, director of the Law Enforcement Academy. “Today marks a new level of achievement for law enforcement recruiting and training in New Mexico. This class represents our progress as a law enforcement community and sets a new standard for bringing forward the best law enforcement officers to serve our communities throughout our state.”
The academy recognized several cadets who excelled in skills and academics, including: Jeremy Graves, Otero County Sheriff’s Office, top driver; Zane Reynolds, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, top shooter; Savanna Lopez, Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department, fitness milestone award; Joshua Thomas, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, fitness excellence; and Adolfo Olivas, Luna County Sheriff’s Office, academic achievement award. Olivas was also named the Class 206 Valedictorian.
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.