How to Become a Police Officer in Albuquerque

The Albuquerque Police Department is made up of a force of 1,100 sworn officers and hundreds of civilian employees with a strong dedication to community policing.1 The city is a true landmark of the American Southwest with the history, culture, and cuisine representative of the region. Additionally, Albuquerque is famous for its annual International Balloon Fiesta during which hundreds of hot air balloons fill the skies. The process for becoming an Albuquerque police officer is detailed below.

Albuquerque Police Officer Requirements

The process of joining the APD as a new officer begins with completing an interest card. This allows the Department to decide if recruits meet the minimum requirements for being a cop in the city. These include a minimum age of 21, US citizenship, a valid driver’s license, and a high school diploma or GED. Recruits must also have completed one of the following: 32 college credit hours, two years of active military duty with an honorable discharge, four years in the National Guard, two years working as a police service aide with the APD, or five years working in any job.

Qualified recruits will be asked to take the city entrance exam net, followed by a personal history statement and the physical abilities test. Those who pass these steps will then complete a psychological exam, a background investigation, a polygraph examination, and an interview with the Chief’s selection committee. The final step for those offered employment is to pass a medical exam and drug screening.

For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply, find specific application information on the Albuquerque Police Department – Police Officer Recruiting.

APD Chief Gordon Eden has a long history of public service. Before heading up the APD he led the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Other positions Eden has held include US Marshal and senior training officer for the New Mexico State Police. He was also named an honorary Texas Ranger and won a commendation award from the New Mexico DWI Resource Center.

Albuquerque Police Department Information

The APD is a large police force of 1,100 sworn officers in addition to civilian employees. The Department has a strong commitment to community policing and getting at the root of crime rather than simply reacting to it. The APD is divided into six different geographical area commands: Foothills, Northeast, Southeast, Valley, Southwest, and Northwest.

Albuquerque Police Training Academy

The APD’s Law Enforcement Academy is responsible for training all new recruits to the Department. Newly-hired officers must complete the 26-week program, which includes 40 hours of instruction per week. Class work includes patrol procedures, law, physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms, police driving, and other areas crucial to working in law enforcement. Upon successful completion of the Academy program, new recruits are eligible to become certified officers through the state of New Mexico.

Albuquerque Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

As new cops-in-training, Academy recruits earn $18.24 during basic training and that salary rises to $20.04 and $26.44 per hour after training and one year of service.1 The APD also offers generous benefits including a $5,000 hiring bonus, overtime pay, a retirement plan, bonuses for college degrees, bilingual pay, and a take-home-a-car program.1 The average salary for a patrol officer in Albuquerque is $51,210. 2

The long term projections for available jobs in law enforcement in New Mexico are promising for new recruits. Growth in this industry is expected to be positive with a 6.6% increase between now and 2022.3 This means that hopeful new cops in the state can expect to see an average of 150 new positions opening up each year.3 For more information on current APD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Albuquerque Police Department and Crime

The APD is committed to working with the community to eradicate crime and establish positive relationships. They hold a monthly Community Policing Council to hear from the residents of the city about concerns. The Department also hosts a Citizens Police Academy to teach residents about policing in the city. The Academy is free and lasts for 12 weeks. Those interested in attending must apply with the Department and be at least 18 years old.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abqpolice

Albuquerque Police Department
400 Roma NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Additional Resources

1. Albuquerque Police Department: https://www.cabq.gov/police/
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Albuquerque, NM: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_10740.htm#33-0000
3. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm