As one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, becoming a police officer in New Mexico requires months of extensive training and years of dedication. The characteristics that define police officers are courage, determination, and compassion. All three will be necessary to adequately serve the public and create a fulfilling career in police work. There are over 4,500 police officers working across the state of New Mexico, and the police force only accepts 50 new recruits each year for basic training. To become a police officer, you will have to prove that you have what it takes to protect and serve the public by completing police academy training.
Police Training Qualifications
The basic requirements for acceptance into police academy training state that each applicant should be at least 21 years old, a United States citizen, and hold a driver’s license. For recruits that are accepted into basic, there is a series of tests that will be performed during the mandatory law enforcement training. Cadets will be evaluated based on their medical histories and physical health. Unhealthy blood pressure and other health conditions that make it more difficult to perform the tasks of a police officer will be grounds for disqualification from training. Applicants are also screened based on their criminal background and financial history. For criminal background checks, it is important that all applicants be free from felony convictions and violent or drug-related misdemeanors such as repeated DUIs or domestic violence. In terms of financial histories, any cadet that has large, outstanding debts or a bad credit score may have difficulty making it into basic. All trainees are given a written test, which must be passed to continue on into training and will help determine later positions on the force.
Popular Police Academies
There are not many options for police academies in New Mexico, which makes the decision of where to attend basic training much easier. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining the main police academy in Sante Fe. This academy is known as the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. It oversees training for most types of police officers, including municipal police and state troopers. There is also another option for federal law enforcement training. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is based in Artesia and offers many more types of specialized law enforcement instruction. Federal law enforcement agents such as members of the DEA, FBI, and CIA can complete their training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.