Individuals who want to find out the basics of how to become a police officer in New Mexico must know that there are actually three distinct methods to become eligible for the police academy. Also, the qualification requirements are not very different from those imposed in other academies across the United States. Essentially, the disparity consists in the fact that all police officers need to complete a minimum of sixty hours of college courses, before, during and after graduating from the New Mexico police academy.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in New Mexico

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • At least 21 years of age (no upper age limit).
  • Have a valid New Mexico driver’s license.
  • Completed at least 60 hours of college credits (any course) or…
  • attend San Juan college and receive 30 hours of credits and complete the other 30 after graduation (discussed below) or…
  • complete 30 college hours and attend the academy which will be accredited 30 college hours.

How to become a police officer in New Mexico without previous college education

High school graduates fascinated by the idea of becoming law enforcement officers must have a GED or high school diploma, be at least 21 years old and be willing to undergo thirty-hour courses at the San Juan College. It is necessary to mention that students admitted by the New Mexico State Police have a two-year time frame after their graduation from the academy to finish the sixty hours of college courses, required by the state’s law. Here is a list of the college courses students can undergo during or after graduation:

  • Police Proficiency I, II and III
  • Patrol, Communication and Investigation
  • Technical Writing
  • Physical Education
  • Law
  • Traffic
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • First Responder for Law Enforcement

How to become a police officer in New Mexico with previous college education

Students who have completed thirty or sixty hours of college courses before the application in any subject will be eligible for applying at the New Mexico police academy. It is necessary to point out that only applicants with thirty hours of college courses completed will be required to pay the enrolment fees and other charges associated with the police academy and the San Juan College.

Out-of-State applicants

The candidates from other states who want to undergo the police academy in New Mexico enjoy a few benefits. First of all, they will not have to pay any fees for participating in the selection process. However, applicants will have to find and pay for their own accommodations and travel arrangements. The second advantage is that the dates for the examinations will not be sent until the application is received and approved. The candidates will need to travel to the NM police academy headquarters on two occasions:

  • The first phase of the selection process consisting of the physical and written tests and the polygraph examination.
  • The second step of the selection process that incorporates an oral interview, medical examination and the psychological evaluation,

Passing the Physical Exam

Perhaps the biggest challenge of being accepted into the NM police academy is preparing for the physical test. Akin to other American states, in New Mexico, the standard acceptable times will be different for men and women applicants and difficulty levels will vary according to the age of the candidate. Nonetheless, all applicants must complete all five types of exercises and ensure they meet their qualifying brackets. The exercises required during the physical examination include:

  • 300 meters run
  • 1.5 mile run
  • 1 minute of push-ups
  • 1 minute of sit-ups
  • Sit and reach

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For more information on becoming a police officer in New Mexico, visit the New Mexico state police website.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in New Mexico.

How to Become a Police Officer in Your State