How to become a Police Officer in New Mexico?: Procedure, Eligibility, Salary

Procedure to become a Police Officer in New Mexico

  • The application procedure is fiercely competitive, includes numerous testing steps, and calls for the applicant’s commitment. Those that make it through the difficult selection process join the ranks of the UNM PD and begin an interesting and fruitful career as a police officer.
  • Each UNM PD applicant must be successful on a written test. Typically, this test is set a few weeks after job postings have ended. The exam gauges a candidate’s general aptitude in areas including math, English, and problem-solving.
  • To be admitted to the Police Academy, a police officer must be physically fit and pass a physical assessment. Candidates who have completed the written test and application processes will be scheduled for this evaluation.
  • The assessment consists of the following five tests:

    1.5-mile run
    300-meter run (sprint)
    Push Up Challenge
    Sit Up Challenge
    Sit and Reach

  • A background investigator will be assigned to applicants who have completed the application, writing test, and physical assessment test. This investigator will serve as your main point of contact with the department for the duration of the procedure.
  • The Oral Interview Board is scheduled to receive applications that have passed the Application, Written Exam, Physical Assessment, and Background Investigation.
  • The medical evaluation (physical) and psychological tests that candidates who are chosen to move forward with the procedure must complete may take several weeks from scheduling to completion. Candidates may also participate in an academy Pre-Assessment at the Police Academy during this time, which assesses a candidate’s readiness to enroll in the Police Academy. Additionally, applicants will get details about the forthcoming Academy.
  • You will start a probationary period as soon as you are hired as a police recruit and enroll in the Santa Fe-based New Mexico Department of Public Safety Police Academy.


  • Age: You must be at least 21 years old to apply for most police officer positions in New Mexico. However, some departments may accept applicants as young as 18, so you must check with the specific department you are interested in to verify their age requirements.
  • Education: A high school diploma or GED equivalent is generally the minimum educational requirement for becoming a police officer in New Mexico. However, some departments may prefer or require applicants to have a college degree, especially in criminal justice or a related field. Check with the department you’re interested in for their specific educational requirements.
  • Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen to become a police officer in New Mexico.
  • Driver’s License: You must possess a valid driver’s license to be eligible for a police officer position. This requirement ensures that you can operate police vehicles as necessary.
  • Background Check: Police departments conduct thorough background checks to assess an applicant’s character and suitability for a law enforcement position. This process typically includes reviewing your criminal history, driving record, employment history, and personal references. Felony convictions or certain misdemeanor convictions may disqualify you from becoming a police officer.
  • Physical Fitness: Police work requires physical stamina and fitness. You will likely be required to pass a physical fitness test as part of the application process. This test may involve running, push-ups, sit-ups, and an obstacle course.
  • Written Exam: Applicants are usually required to take a written exam that assesses their reading comprehension, writing skills, mathematics, and problem-solving abilities. Some exams may also include a personality assessment.
  • Medical and Psychological Evaluations: You will need to undergo medical and psychological evaluations to ensure you are physically and mentally fit for the demands of police work.

What is the average salary of a Police Officer in New Mexico?

  • The average salary is $57,600.

List of  police stations in New Mexico


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