Special Operations Bureau
Throughout the history of the NMSP, the state’s legislature, New Mexico citizens, and the broader law enforcement community, have all played a role in shaping the NMSP into a modern and sophisticated law enforcement organization. As more and more requests were made of the NMSP to handle a myriad of enforcement activities, the agency grew into a specialized, and uniquely trained force. Listed below is a selection of NMSP teams, units and programs.
Crash Reconstruction Unit
The Crash Reconstruction Unit is comprised of New Mexico State Police officers from around the state who provide analysis and reconstruction of serious traffic crashes resulting in the potential for felony charges. The CRU has both a full time and part time component, and a number of CRU members are qualified as experts in both state and federal court. CRU members have specialized training and use specialized equipment to assist federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies with these investigations.
Since 1958 the New Mexico State Police Aircraft Section has been providing high-quality airborne law enforcement services to the people of the State of New Mexico. This nationally recognized airborne law enforcement unit operates an Agusta Westland A-109E “twin-engine” helicopter and an Australian made “Seeker” light observation airplane. The section is staffed by four full-time pilots, six full-time tactical flight officers, and one highly qualified FAA mechanic. The Aircraft Section deploys, often on short notice, state-wide in response to a wide variety of missions to include (but not limited to) search and rescue, airborne patrol, tactical law enforcement operations, complex criminal investigations, surveillance operations, and border security missions.
The use of narcotic detecting canines by NMSP started in 1970. Since then, drug sniffing dogs have been involved in some of the largest narcotic seizures in New Mexico’s history. The NMSP continues to use man’s-best-friend as a unique and effective tool in the war on illegal drugs.
Clandestine Lab Team
In December of 2000, the NMSP enlisted several members of the Narcotics Bureau to create a Clandestine Lab Team. In addition to investigating suspected illegal drug labs, the team teaches safety and awareness classes throughout the state. During the early days, team members recognized that investigating and arresting persons involved in illegal drug manufacturing, often meant discovering at risk children exposed to the drug lab environment. In 2004, the Department of Public Safety, and NMSP, fought to protect children found at the labs and created tougher laws regarding the purchase of drug precursors.
Crime Scene Unit
The Crime Scene Team was formed in 1999, and is a full time unit. The CST members process and reconstruct crime scenes for the New Mexico State Police, as well as for other municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. In addition to general crime scene investigation, members specialize in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, in Trajectory Analysis, in the use of High Definition Survey Equipment to map scenes, and in Crime Scene Analysis/Crime Scene Reconstruction. Members of the team have been qualified as experts in various aspects of crime scene investigation, in courts of various jurisdictions in New Mexico, as well as in other states around the country, and in federal court.
The Criminal Investigations Section is responsible for conducting complex, in-depth investigations into many diverse types of offenses ranging from white collar, computer and property crimes to crimes of violence such as aggravated assault, battery, or murder. There are currently over 50 personnel assigned to the section, throughout the state … [ more ]
Emergency Response Team
Established in 1997, the ERT was created to respond to civil disturbances associated with Waste Island Pilot Plant (WIPP) shipments. Since then, its mission has expanded to include crowd control and civil disorder. The activation of the team during civil unrest allows for a controlled display of force when nothing seems to be under control. By its presence alone, shields, helmet and protective suit, the ERT team can be a strong psychological deterrent to a crowd with the potential of turning into a violent, destructive mob. By being a small, well-trained unit with a clear plan, the ERT can respond quickly and diffuse the situation.
The NMSP Honor Guard was created in July 1984 to provide a service during funerals of commissioned officers, retired officers, elected officials, visiting dignitaries or during occasions deemed appropriated by the NMSP Chief. Today, the Honor Guard is used in every corner of the state performing funeral details for not only State Police but for other government agencies upon request. The Honor Guard also performs details at many ceremonies where the posting of the state and national colors is needed.
Created in 2002. The motorcycle has proved to be an essential tool in traffic enforcement and in responding to calls in high traffic areas. The motocycle’s inception into state law enforcement began many years ago when the New Mexico Motor Patrol was created in 1933, a precursor organization to the NMSP. Since that time, Motorcyle Unit Officers have escorted many dignitaries to include President George W. Bush, the King of Spain, and the President of Mexico.
The NMSP Search and Recovery Dive Team was officially established in 1963, in response to increasing demands for law enforcement to respond to drownings and underwater recovery of property and evidence. New Mexico is primarily known as a desert state, but within its boundaries are numerous bodies of recreational waters, as well as thousands of miles of agricultural waterways and rivers, which are visited by thousands of people yearly … [ more ]
The NMSP Tactical Team was formed in the early 1970’s in response to Viet Nam war protests, but since then has evolved into a specialized force to meet new needs. The team is trained to respond to armed/barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, open field manhunts, high risk warrants and Counter Assault Team tactics for dignitary protection. In recent years, the Tactical Team has been trained in Hazardous Material Tactical Operations in order to function in full SCBA tactical gear in chemically threatening environments, such as exposure to methamphetamine drug labs.