Police Officer

Do you want to make a


The next APD Cadet Class starts July 29, 2024

Upcoming Two Day Testing Dates

August 19 - 20, 2023

Start Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: 5412 2nd Street NW Albuquerque, NM 87107


September 9 -10, 2023

Start Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: 5412 2nd Street NW Albuquerque, NM 87107

September 23-24, 2023

Start Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: 5412 2nd Street NW Albuquerque, NM 87107

Physical Fitness Requirements (Administered 2-3 weeks before start of the academy)

  • Test #1: Upper Body Strength – Number of Push-Ups in 1 Minute – Minimum 15 Repetitions
  • Test #2: 1.5 Mile Run 15:14 (Minutes:Seconds)
  • Test #3: 300 Meter Run 71 Seconds
  • Test #4: Muscular Endurance – Number of Sit-Ups in 1 Minute – Minimum 27 Repetitions


  • You must be 21 years of age by graduation from the academy.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license and obtain a New Mexico driver’s license within 30 days of your hire date.
  • You must be a United States citizen.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • No felony convictions.  Criminal activity in which applicant has been convicted of, pled guilty to, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge, been involved in any prosecution diversion program (PPP) as adjudicated for a felony crime committed will be permanently disqualified.  Felony arrests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • No misdemeanor convictions within the last 3 years from the date of initial testing. Misdemeanor arrests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • No DWI convictions within the last five years from the date of initial testing, whether from an administrative sanction by a Motor Vehicle Department, criminal conviction, or military disciplinary action. Multiple DWIs in the most recent 10 year period disqualifies an individual as an applicant.  (Multiple is defined as 2 or more DWIs).  DWI arrests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • An applicant cannot have been convicted of a Domestic Violence Act.  Domestic related arrests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • No use in the last 2 years of any illegal misdemeanor drug (does not include marijuana)
  • Marijuana use within 12 months of applying may be disqualifying.
  • No use in the last 5 years of any illegal felony drug (includes felony prescription drug use).
  • Any financial accounts referred to collections, written or charged off will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may result in disqualification.
  • Any history of discipline, termination or resignation in lieu of termination may be grounds for disqualification

Preferred Knowledge

  • Methods, techniques and procedures of law enforcement including patrol, crime prevention, investigation and identification
  • Principles of report preparation
  • Pertinent Federal, State and local laws, codes, state statutes, city ordinances, state vehicle codes and safety regulations
  • Firearms and defensive tactics skills and survival techniques
  • Routine Street Patrol
  • Principles and practices of firearm use
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety practices

Preferred Skills & Abilities

  • Use and properly care for firearms
  • Understand, interpret and apply laws, regulations, policies and procedures
  • Prepare clear and concise reports
  • Analyze situations quickly and objectively to determine and take appropriate action
  • Identify potential crime situations or traffic hazards and take preventive action
  • Perform defensive tactics and survival techniques
  • Respond to requests and inquiries from the general public
  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work

Selection Process

  1. Interest Card
  2. Personal History Statement (PHS)
  3. Physical Abilities Test  
  4. Nelson Denny Exam
  5. Additional Documents Required
  6. Written Psychological Exam
  7. Background Investigation
  8. Polygraph Exam
  9. Psychological Assessment
  10. Chief’s Selection Committee
  11. Executive Review
  12. City of Albuquerque Employment Application
  13. Medical Exam/Drug Screen

Police Academy

The Albuquerque Police Department’s Law Enforcement Academy is a 40 hour week, approximately twenty-six week program, structured around each functional area necessary for New Mexico State Law Enforcement certifications.  Instructional areas range from the criminal justice system, law, patrol, investigation, physical fitness, and traffic investigations to defensive tactics, use of firearms and police driving.

These areas, taught by certified instructors and according to Department of Public Safety lesson plans, furnish the cadets with the knowledge and practical skills needed to successfully serve their community.  Each successful graduate of the Albuquerque Police Academy is equipped with marketable skills that will serve him or her throughout their lifetime.

Albuquerque Police Officers are required to manage their own time, build relationships, tackle challenges creatively and produce tangible results in a team-oriented environment.  The Albuquerque Police Academy is a challenging and satisfying start to a career in one of the most demanding fields in America.

Job Duties

The principal functions of a police officer are the preservation of the peace and maintenance of order, the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the protection of persons and property under the law and the performance of the multitude of tasks relating to public welfare and safety.


The benefits of becoming one of Albuquerque’s finest speak for themselves.

  • Retirement
    All City of Albuquerque police officer employees, with the exception of Rehires,  participate in the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). 
  • Take Home Car Program
    All police officers that successfully complete one year probation, will be issued a patrol vehicle for their use during working hours.  Officers must live within the boundaries established by the Chief of Police.
  • College Incentive
    Police officers who have degrees, will receive the following additional pay incentive. There are two pay periods per month. Officers will be paid for only one degree at the highest academic level obtained.
    • Bachelor’s degree $62.31 biweekly ($1620.06 annually)
    • Master’s degree $73.85 biweekly ($1920.10 annually)
    • PHD $85.38 biweekly ($2,219.88 annually)
  • Shift Differential
    Police officers who work the following shifts will receive shift differential pay. There are two pay periods per month.
    • Swing Shift $11.54 biweekly ($300 annually)
    • Graveyard $23.08 biweekly ($600 annually)
  • Bilingual Pay
    An officer shall qualify for bilingual pay upon demonstrating an acceptable level of reading, writing and conversational proficiency. Job-related material will be used in determining the reading, writing and conversational proficiency. The certification of proficiency will be established by an expert selected by the H.R.P. Committee. Officers who are certified in all three proficiency areas shall be paid $23.08 per pay period. Should an officer only pass the conversational portion of the test, that officer shall be paid $9.23 per pay period.
  • Specialty Pay
    Police officers who are assigned to these Units will receive the following additional pay incentive.
    • Pilots $23.08 biweekly
    • Bomb Squad $115.38 biweekly
    • Aerial Observer $23.08 biweekly
    • Motorcycle Officers $23.08 biweekly
    • S.W.A.T $115.38 biweekly
    • K-9 $115.38 biweekly
    • Crisis Negotiation Team officers $23.08 biweekly
    • Crisis Intervention Team officers $23.08 biweekly
    • Horse Mounted Unit $23.08 biweekly
    • Field Training Officers $350.00 biweekly
  • Holiday Pay
    Legal holidays for police officers shall be as follows:
    • New Year’s Day
    • Martin Luther King’s Birthday
    • President’s Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Juneteenth
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Indigenous People’s Day
    • Veteran’s Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Day After Thanksgiving
    • Christmas Day

      Police officers shall receive holiday pay at straight time at their hourly rate for either 8 or 10 hours based on their normal work shift for all holidays not worked. In the event a police officers is required to work on a holiday, and does not exercise an option to take a floating holiday, he/she shall be paid holiday pay as mentioned above, plus time-and-one-half (1 and ½) for the first 8 hours if on a normal work shift of 10 hours, plus 2 hours straight compensatory time.A police officer may float any or all of the holidays mentioned in the above listed paragraph. A floating holiday is one that the employee may convert to vacation either eight (8) or ten (10) hours per holiday depending on their normal workday anytime after the actual holiday has occurred. A floating holiday can also be used as an additional vacation day if used within the same pay period of the holiday.

  • Compensatory Time
    Police officers will be entitled to be compensated at 1 and ½ times the officer’s rate of pay or in the form of compensatory time. Compensatory time will be computed at the rate of 1 and ½ times the hours actually worked.You have the opportunity to earn 150 hours of compensation
  • Medical, Hospitalization and Dental Insurance
    The City of Albuquerque provides medical, hospitalization and dental plans.
  • Vacation Leave Accrual
    ​Vacation leave will accrue for police officers as follows:
    • 1 Month to 5 Years 8 hours/month or 12.5 days/year
    • 5 Years, 1 Month to 10 Years 10 hours/month or 15 days/year
    • 10 Years, 1 Month to 15 Years 12 hours/month or 18 days/year
    • 15 Years, 1 Month and over 13 hours/month or 20 days/year
  • Police Officer Laterals have an added incentive! Upon completion of the officer’s academy training, and for each year of prior service recognized by the Albuquerque Police Department for purposes of lateral credit, each lateral hire shall be credited with vacation leave as follows:
    •     40 hours for 2-4 years
    •     70 hours for 5-14 years
    •     100 hours for 15 or more years
  • Sick Leave Accrual
    Sick leave will accrue for police officers as follows:
    • 3.70 hours per pay period
  • Police Officer Laterals have an added incentive!  Each lateral hire, upon completion of the officer’s academy training, shall be credited with 40 hours of sick leave.
  • Unions
    Albuquerque Police Officer Association, (APOA)
  • Associations
    • Latino Police Officers Association, (LPOA)
    • Chicano Police Officers Association, (CPOA)
    • Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
  • Tuition Assistance and Educational Leave


Become an Albuquerque Police Officer and you will receive:

  • The opportunity to retire after 25 years of dedicated service.

Police Cadet

  • $28.85/hour

​​Police Officer Second Class (P 2/C)

  • $ 30.28/hour (Upon graduation from the Academy.)​

Police Officer First Class (P 1/C)

  • $ 34.53/hour (This pay scale starts after successful completion of probationary period as a Police Officer 2nd Class (P2C).​

Senior Police Officer First Class (P 1/C)

  • $ 35.72/hour (years 5-14).​

Master Police Officer First Class (P 1/C)

  • $ 37.51/hour (years 15 and above).​

To view the APD Salary Chart: Click Here

*This information is subject to change.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you have a tattoo policy?

A: Yes, tattoos are permissible to be shown in public, while in the duty uniform, on the following areas:

  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Legs
Tattoos must be preapproved for their appropriateness by the Chain of Command before being displayed while in the duty uniform.

Q:  Do I get paid while in the police academy?

A: Yes.  You start earning salary and benefits the first day of the academy.

Q: How do I get a ride along?

A:  Go to https://www.oneabqvolunteers.com/need/detail/?need_id=689933 and complete the “volunteer form” to request a ride along.

Q: How long does the selection process usually take?

A: It can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, but it varies.

Q: How long do I have to work patrol?

A: You are on probation for one year from the date of graduation from the academy.  Depending on what specialized unit you are interested in, you may have to work a minimum of two years non-probationary (investigative units) or four years non-probationary (tactical units).

Q: If I have a background investigation done with another agency, or have a top secret clearance in the military, will APD still do a background check?

A: Yes, APD’s Background Unit will conduct its own thorough background investigation on everyone who makes it through weekend testing.

Q: How many trips will out of state applicants need to make to complete the selection process?

A: A minimum of two trips are required.  The first trip encompasses weekend testing.  The second trip encompasses the polygraph, psychological interview and  consists of the chief’s selection committee.  The medical exam will be completed once the out of state applicant moves to Albuquerque to begin the police academy.

Q: How long is the police academy?

A: The police academy is approximately 26 weeks.

Q: Is it a live in academy?

A: No, the academy is not a live in academy, so you are allowed to go home at the end of every day.  Cadets generally work day shift; however some swing shifts are required depending on the phase of training.

Q: Where do most applicants get dropped in the process?

A: Lying, omitting or minimizing facts is where most applicants get dropped.  Usually, the act in and of itself would not disqualify the applicant, but because an integrity violation occurs, the applicant is disqualified.

Q: Do I have to be a United States Citizen?

A: Yes, you must be a United States Citizen

Q: What if I cannot locate my high school diploma?

A: A letter from your high school on official school letter head with the school seal stating you did in fact attend and your graduation date will suffice.

Q: What if I cannot locate all the documents required prior to my testing weekend?

A: If we ask for it, we need it.  Bring what you have.  For each document you are missing, attach a sheet of paper that says what it is you are missing.  Your background file will not be worked until all documents are provided.

Q: Are you accepting lateral transfers?

A: Yes.  Please see the “becoming an officer” tab for qualifications.

Q: Can I attend college and be a Police Service Aide at the same time?

A: You can, however it will be extremely difficult.  The Police Service Aide position is full time, so your class schedule will need to be organized around your work schedule.

Q:  How can I submit an application?

A:  Please click the “Apply Now” tab from the home page.

Q: What is the age limit?

A:  There is no upper age limit, as long as you can perform the physical fitness requirements.

Q: Will I have to purchase my own gear or will the department pay for it?

A: You will need to buy your uniforms, shoes and accessories.  The department will provide a gun belt and firearm.

Q: Do I need any college credits to be eligible to test as a police cadet?

A: No.

Q: What happens after I graduate from the police academy?

A: You are on probation for the first year.  For the first four months of that probation (at minimum) you are on on-the-job training (OJT).  Each month you are with a different field training officer.  OJT is a practical application of what you learned in the police academy.

Q: What is a Notary, and how do I find one?

A: A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. Notaries can often be found at your local bank or by searching online.

Q: How do I get proof of my Selective Service Registration?

A: This link should provide you information to obtain your proof of registration:  https://www.sss.gov/verify/