Police Patrol is the first line of defense against illegal and unacceptable behavior. We focus on stopping criminal activity. We strive for prompt and courteous service.
Motorist, bicyclist, and pedestrian safety are a priority. Directed patrols focus on areas with high call volume. These are often for roadways, intersections, and and school zones when yellow lights are flashing.
The Los Alamos Police Department is authorized 39 sworn officers. Patrol is authorized 20 officers including 4 Sergeants. The Operations Commander oversees Patrol and the Criminal Investigations Unit. There are four patrol teams working 12-hour shifts: A, B, C, and D teams. Each team is at full strength with five officers, one being the sergeant. Two of these teams, A and C, are day teams. B and D teams are night teams.
On duty, our officers conduct out-of-vehicle patrols each shift. Bike patrols or foot patrols allow for community interaction. Some officers also have duties on special teams.
Each officer working for the Los Alamos Police Department (LAPD) has the opportunity to take on a special assignment. These assignments can range from temporary (short-term) in nature or ongoing throughout the officer’s career.
The Los Alamos Police Department Bomb Squad is FBI Certified. Membership in the bomb squad is voluntary. Applicants must undergo a rigorous competitive testing process prior to being selected for service.
LAPD Bomb Technicians receive training and certification at the FBI's Hazardous Devices School (HDS) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama.
LAPD Bomb Techinicians receive hundreds of hours of training. They are required to attend recertification training and testing at HDS every three years.
LAPD Bomb Squad has jurisdictional authority to respond to all potential bombing incidents within our region. Our region includes Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The LAPD Bomb Squad provides regional response capability for bombing incidents in Northern New Mexico. They may assist other bomb squads throughout New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and the Four-Corners area.
Crash team members respond to and investigate serious traffic crashes. These officers receive extensive advanced training in the investigation of traffic crashes. When a serious accident happens we are called out to the scene to investigate. Officers, at the completion of their investigation, must deliver an accurate, easy to understand analysis of what can often be a complex technical situation.
The Los Alamos Police Department Investigations is supervised by the Detective Sergeant. Investigations consists of the detective sergeant and three detectives. Criminal Investigations reports to the Operations Commander and is a team in Police Patrol.
Investigations has a broad range of duty assignments. Crime scene investigations, interviews/interrogations, drafting arrest and search warrants, and conducting field surveillance are some of the tasks we complete. Detectives assist patrol operations in numerous cases such as identity thefts, motor vehicle thefts, drug activity, burglaries, and other felony-level crimes. Our primary role is to capture evidence and intelligence. The most sensitive cases, those involving children, are handled by investigations.
Every citizen in the state of New Mexico is required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect.
Calls can be made anonymously 24/7 to the Statewide Central Intake number 1-800-797-3260.
Investigators are certified in several fields of investigation. Crime Scene techniques and investigation procedures are learned in North Carolina. Investigators attend week-long Sirchie trainings from Sirchie for crime scene processing, crime-scene photography, evidence recovery, and forensics education. The New Mexico Attorney General’s office provides Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) training and Computer Forensics. These specialized classes broaden investigative skills and help solve a variety of crimes.
The Defensive Tactics Instructors train new recruits and provide continuing training for the entire department. Defensive tactics include basic and advanced techniques: hand-to-hand defense and control, handcuffing procedures, and use of the baton and chemical substances. Defensive Tactics Instructors receive extensive training in this area and must be physically fit. They must attend instructor-level classes to maintain proficiency.
The Driving Instructors provide training in the use of police vehicles. Officers must maintain proficiency in the handling of vehicles in a variety of situations. Instructors train officers on the unique equipment installed and used in police vehicles. Using emergency equipment to respond quickly through traffic requires officer training and practice of accident avoidance.
What is a DRE?
A DRE is a drug recognition expert and sometimes referred to as a drug recognition evaluator. A DRE is an individual who has successfully completed all phases of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program's (DECP) training. Requirements for certification are established by the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A DRE is skilled in detecting and identifying persons under the influence of drugs and in identifying the category or categories of drugs causing the impairment.
What Does the DRE Do?
These officers go through intensive training. They are on-call to assist Patrol Officers in investigating a DWI. The DRE assists if the driver is suspected of driving under the influence of illicit drugs or prescription medication. The Los Alamos Police Department DREs can and will assist other agencies with DRE investigations.
How Does One Become A DRE?
A drug recognition expert has successfully completed an approved course in the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFSTs). Then a DRE completes a three-phase Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program, which includes the following phases:
- The 16-hour DRE Pre-school. This includes an overview of the DRE evaluation procedures, the seven drug categories, eye examinations, and proficiency in conducting the SFSTs.
- The 56-hour DRE School. This includes an overview of the drug evaluation procedures expanded sessions on each drug category, drug combinations, examination of vital signs, case preparation, courtroom testimony, and Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) preparation. At the conclusion of the 7-days of training, the officer must successfully complete a written examination before moving to the third and final phase of training.
- During this phase the candidate DRE must complete a minimum of 12 drug evaluations under the supervision of a trained DRE instructor. Of those 12 evaluations, the officer must identify an individual under the influence of at least three of the seven drug categories. They must obtain a minimum 75% toxicological corroboration rate. The officer must pass a final knowledge examination and be approved by two DRE instructors before being certified as a certified DRE.
A DRE drug evaluation takes approximately one hour. The DRE evaluates and assesses the person's appearance and behavior. The DRE measures and records vital signs and makes precise observations of the person's automatic responses and reactions. The DRE also administers carefully designed psychophysical tests to evaluate judgment, information processing ability, coordination, and various other characteristics. The DRE systematically considers everything about the person that could indicate the influence of drugs.
The Field Training Officers (FTO's) mentor and train new recruits. Field Training Officers take recruits from the classroom environment to the community. They teach the specifics of working in Los Alamos County. Field Training Officers are responsible for evaluating the progress of each recruit. They submit daily reports to supervisors.
The Firearms Unit instructs firearms for all officers of the Los Alamos Police Department. Instructors provide initial and reoccurring training throughout an officer's career. Instructors specialize in teaching and refining the shooting skills. All instructors are certified Armorers and conduct repairs on the department's inventory of firearms. Firearm Instructors are expected to maintain a higher level of proficiency in all firearm disciplines.
Key Operators are specifically trained in conducting maintenance and checking the calibration of the IR8000. Officers check and maintain the machine on a regular basis to be sure it is working properly. They also provide user training on the IR8000. Operators testify in court for DWI cases regarding the proper use or calibration of the machine.