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History of LCPD

History of the Las Cruces Police Department

The Las Cruces Police Department is the principal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the City of Las Cruces, N.M.

LCPD, established in 1928, has an authorized strength of 200 officers (191 + 9 COPS officers) and 83 civilian positions. LCPD serves a city with a population of more than 100,000. The Las Cruces Police Department is the second largest municipal police department in New Mexico.

The first police chief of the Las Cruces Police Department was appointed in 1928. Prior to that time, law enforcement for the town of Las Cruces was provided by the Town Marshall and the Dona Ana Sheriff (legendary lawman Patrick F. Garrett served as Sheriff from 1896-1900).

Las Cruces Police Department chiefs and their tenure:

1928-1934 Tony Barncastle

1934-1936 Juan Lucero

1936-1937 Francisco Amador

1938-1946 Jack Robertson

1947-1948 William Harris

1949-1959 Ricardo Triviz

1959-1960 James Flanagan

1961-1964 C.L. Rogers

1964-1966 L.A. Foster

1966-1973 Ben Silva

1973-1978 A.F. Gomez

1978-1990 R.J. Axtell

1990-1996 William Hampton

1997-1999 James Bonnell

2000-2003 William Baker

2004-2009 Harry Romero

2010-2013 Richard Williams

2014-2017 Jaime R Montoya

2018- Patrick Gallagher

LCPD has a certified law enforcement academy for training police recruits in a police basic training program approved by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Training Center of Santa Fe. The minimum standard for the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy is 600 hours of basic training. LCPD Academy graduates receive more than 1,000 hours of training, much of which is advanced training.

LCPD received certification for its Academy in 1966 and the first police academy graduated in December of that year. LCPD is one of eight satellite police academies in the state of New Mexico. The other seven certified academies in New Mexico include: New Mexico State Police, Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, Hobbs Police Department, Farmington Police Department, Dona Ana County Sherriff’s Office and Western New Mexico University.

From 1966 to the 2017, 661 recruits have graduated from the LCPD Academy. The academy is initiated primarily to meet the personnel vacancy needs of the police department. In 1969, the academy began to train, when requested, recruits from other law enforcement agencies. LCPD's Academy has also trained 53 officers for other agencies. Much of the instruction in the classroom and field exercises is conducted by a cadre of highly-trained LCPD instructors most of whom are graduates of the LCPD Academy. Professionals who volunteer their time and talents, free of charge to the academy, provide other instruction.

Las Cruces Police Academies since 1966

Department patch: In July of 1997, it was determined that a new colorful symbol representing the geographical area of the City of Las Cruces would better portray the mission of service to the community, the LCPD selected the insignia. The silver text ‘POLICE’ is bold for easy recognition. A dark background enhances this effect and allows the accompanying colors to radiate the depiction of the sun symbol, the Organ Mountains and the Rio Grande river all of which are an integral part of the area and culture of Las Cruces. The three crosses and the sun symbol is the logo for the City of Las Cruces.

Las Cruces sits at an elevation of 3,900 feet located in south-central New Mexico at the junction of Interstates 25 and 10. The high Chihuahua desert locations create a mild arid climate that attracts visitors and newcomer from all over the United States and abroad.