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Bart Skelton

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Down on the Border: A Western Lawman's Journal
Bart Skelton  More Info

About the New Mexico State Police

The New Mexico Mounted Police was established in 1905 by the 36th New Mexico Territorial Legislature.  The state was still very much part of the old west then, and not everyone was pleased with the creation of a state police force.  The mounted police were reactivated and kept our border with Mexico secure, as well as provided general law enforcement services.  For the next several years, the mounted police gained quite a reputation as an effective and professional police force, much to the disdain of the state's lawbreakers, who often had strong political ties in Santa Fe.  Finally, on February 15, 1921 - almost sixteen years after its inception - the New Mexico Mounted Police was abolished.


In 1933, the New Mexico Motor Patrol was established, primarily to enforce traffic laws.  The patrol had a civilian oversight board consisting of three members: Governor Arthur Seligman, Attorney General E.K. Neumann, and Highway Engineer Glenn D. Macy.  The state of Texas had recently created their own motor patrol, and they detailed Captain Homer Garrison to conduct the first New Mexico Motor Patrol recruit school at St. Michael's College in Santa Fe.  One hundred thirty-five men applied for the school; eighteen were selected to attend; and ten were finally chosen and commissioned as the first motor patrol officers.


Today, the New Mexico State police has an authorized strength of 525 sworn state troopers and nearly 500 civilian employees.  The field operations of the New Mexico State Police are organized into twelve state police districts.  In addition to the field operations, the New Mexico State Police also have a Training and Recruiting Bureau, Special Operations Burea, Criminal Bureau and a Narcotics Bureau.


The Special Operations Bureau of the New Mexico State Police has a Search and Recovery Dive Team, Tactical Team, Bomb Team, Emergency Response Team and Aircraft Section. 




Bart Skelton was raised on the Mexican border and attended college at Southwestern University, Sul Ross State University and New Mexico State University. He joined the New Mexico State Police in 1984 and later became a Special Agent with the U.S. Customs Service and is stationed in New Mexico.  Bart Skelton is the author of Down on the Border: A Western Lawman's Journal.

According to one reader of Down on the Border: A Western Lawman's Journal, “I found myself being able to visualize the desert, fell the heat of the region and Florida mountains that Skelton speaks of. His writing is extremely visual and you can almost feel the breath of the bad guys on the back of your neck.  Skelton finds the humor and idiosyncrasies in human nature as we try to finagle our way through life. The characters that he has come in contact with through his law enforcement career, has got to make you think that humor is the best medicine. The one thing that will carry you through the day.

I would highly recommend Down on the Border to get a taste of life in the deserts of the South west. You will find that every chapter will make you laugh and wanting to read more.  The illustrations were fantastic and comical and added to the humorous nature of adventures. The introduction with J. Jackson was truly rewarding seeing, as it demonstrates Cops helping cops. Their lives and tales parallel no matter where they are. They should be rewarded highly for their service. Thank you for making an insane world seem humorous. I enjoyed the laughs.”

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