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Bart Skelton

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. 




Selected book from a New Mexico State Police, police officer.

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

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