New police leader announces picks for deputy chiefs

July 14, 2018

Andrew Padilla, who became Santa Fe’s police chief late last month, on Friday announced his picks for seconds-in-command.

Captains Robert Vasquez and Ben Valdez are the city department’s new deputy chiefs as of Saturday.

“Both of them have great strengths and abilities and each have shown proven leadership in the department,” Padilla said.

Vasquez will oversee the administration division, including the records department, community relations, training and recruiting, among other areas, Padilla said.

Vasquez has been with the department since March 2000 and has worked in patrol, as a detective specializing in crimes against children, and on the Region III drug task force. As a captain, he oversaw the criminal investigations division.

Valdez will oversee operations, which includes patrol, investigations and support operations.

Valdez was just promoted from lieutenant to captain in May. He has overseen the SWAT team, and according to Padilla has strong relationships with the community. Facebook posts show Valdez was recognized as the department’s supervisor of the year as a sergeant in 2014, and was promoted to lieutenant in March of 2016.

Padilla said six more promotions are in the pipeline, including two more captains, two lieutenants and two sergeants.

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