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September 27, 2021
Police Chief Padilla Announces Retirement

More Than 21 Years of Service to the City of Santa Fe

The Chief of Police, Andrew Padilla, has announced his retirement after more than 21 years with the City of Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD). Chief Padilla has served his entire career with SFPD. He started as a patrol officer in 2000 after serving in the United States Marine Corps. Chief Padilla has served as Police Chief for the last 3 years and 6 months, the longest an individual has served in the Chief role in the last 18 years. 

Chief Padilla has proved his leadership in many roles in the department over the course of his career, including as commander of the SWAT Team and Special Operations, and as Deputy Chief of Administration before he became Chief of Police. He also spent time in patrol, as a field training officer, master firearms instructor, and in criminal investigations.

During his tenure, Chief Padilla has valued engagement with the community and worked to open lines of communication, spearheading programs such as the Government Exploration Program, in which the Police Department and Fire Department taught high school students about public safety operations in order to educate and inspire our youth to begin careers in public safety. Chief Padilla also worked with Communities in Schools to raise awareness about speeding in our community, and with Youth Works to prevent gang violence.

Other notable accomplishments include:

  • Department-wide crisis intervention training and counseling services for police personnel;
  • Pay raises for officers;
  • $15,000 signing bonuses for lateral officers;
  • Body camera project approval.

“It has been an honor working for the City of Santa Fe," says Chief Padilla. "It’s been a privilege to have worked with so many great men and women of the Police Department over the years. I would personally like to thank them for their professionalism and dedication to the job. I have so much respect for the work they do each day. They go above and beyond daily, and sacrifice so much to keep this city safe. They have stuck together and supported each other during these tough times. I continue to remind everyone to respect each other, show compassion, and listen before you make a decision.”

“Chief Padilla has been an instrumental part of our Santa Fe Police Department. His leadership and commitment to our community are invaluable, and I am grateful for the countless hours he has devoted to Santa Fe,” said Jarel LaPan Hill, City Manager.

“Chief Padilla’s service is commendable. He has brought innovative approaches to tackling complex issues facing policing today, while creating stability in a department that had seen a high level of turnover in the Chief position,” said Kyra Ochoa, Director of Community Health and Safety.

In 2020, the City of Santa Fe created the Community Health and Safety Department, which consists of the Santa Fe Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Management Department, Youth and Family Services Division, Seniors Division, Library Division, and Recreation Division. The Community Health and Safety Department aligns public safety and public health responses, leveraging resources to focus efforts on mental health, substance abuse, housing, and other social needs with a vision that a healthier community is a safer community for all. This is a vision Chief Padilla has embraced.

The City is looking to fill the Chief of Police position. Chief Padilla will lead the department through Dec. 3, 2021.   

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