New Mexico Police Academy Requirements

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Joining a police academy is a milestone on the path to becoming a police officer. The New Mexico police academy requirements are intended to set a high standard for potential officers. Below are all the requirements and disqualifying factors. Be aware that there is a lot of competition for police jobs so going above the minimum requirements is advised. New Mexico police academy requirements consist of, in part, the following:

Age Requirement

New Mexico police academy age requirements state that applicants must be at least 21 years old. Applicants may complete an application and proceed in the hiring process at 20 years of age if they will be 21 by the starting date of the next academy class.

Residency and Citizenship Requirement

Applicants must be a resident of New Mexico and possess a valid New Mexico driver’s license upon appointment as a State Police Cadet.  New Mexico police academy states that canidates must be a United States citizen and establish New Mexico residency within six months of hire. Applicants must be a United States citizen at the time of initial application.

Educational Requirement

New Mexico Police Academy requirements for education state that the applicants must possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED) time of application.  Correspondence or mail-order high school diplomas are not accepted.

Applicant will be required to take a written/oral examination, psychological test, as well as a polygraph examination.

Automatic Disqualification Factors

Applicants are advised that the New Mexico State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements as detailed below.  In addition, the following information is provided regarding our criteria for automatic disqualification:

  • Falsification, omission, or misrepresentation of any information during the completion of the Polygraph Screening Booklet, the Polygraph Examination, the Formal Application for Employment, and any other documents/processes associated with the Cadet Selection Procedures.
  • Substance abuse/use within a prescribed time frame and/or that is beyond what is considered experimental by the New Mexico State Police.
  • Criminal arrests/behavior which would not reflect well on the New Mexico State Police.

The core purpose of the New Mexico State Police is to seek justice, preserve peace, and improve the quality of life for all.  As such, the Department has established the core values of Honor, Service, Integrity, Respect, Trust, Courage, and Duty, and is seeking applicants who possess these traits and conduct themselves accordingly.  Certain issues within a person’s background have been identified which will result in automatic disqualification, including but not limited to:  criminal conduct (actual arrest and/or admission of behavior whether or not arrested) and substance abuse.

A preliminary determination will be made by the New Mexico State Police based upon information supplied; therefore, applicants must be forthright and honest in documenting their conduct.  Be advised that this preliminary determination is not binding as it is made based upon information provided by the applicant only.  Should an applicant continue in the selection process, the conduct will then be discussed and documented with a New Mexico State Police Officer.

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the New Mexico State Police is to contain no misrepresentation, falsification, omissions, or concealment of material fact and that, upon submission of any official document (on-line or otherwise), applicants swear or affirm that all information provided is true, complete, and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.  Applicants are further advised that all information provided is subject to later investigation.

Physical Readiness Test

Cadet applicants must demonstrate a minimum fitness level as measured by a battery of five physical fitness tests. For Cadets these tests are based on the 40th percentile and for Out-of-State Laterals these tests are based on the 50th percentile as established by the Cooper Institute. The standard protocols are explained for each test at the time the test is administered. The tests are as follows:

1.    Upper body strength: maximum number of push-ups in one minute
2.    Muscular endurance: maximum number of sit-ups in one minute
3.    Aerobic power: 1.5 mile run – altitude adjustment added
4.    Anaerobic power: 300 meter run
5.    Flexibility: sit and reach measured in inches

All tests are standardized and based upon age and gender.  Example:

40-year old male running the 1.5 mile – 14:59
20-year old female running the 1.5 mile – 15:56

Note about elevation: New Mexico sits high above sea level in an area that is very dry.  Both the lack of humidity and the high elevation can affect physical performance for those from locations that are lower in elevation and more humid. Candidates may choose to come a few days before testing; workout at this elevation and also adjust to what it takes to stay hydrated in this climate.


The eligibility requirements are subject to change at any time.


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