A bill that would add requirements for candidates who wish to be sheriff, passed its first checkpoint on the way to the House floor.
The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee voted unanimously to add a list of qualifications for those who want to run for the position of sheriff of a New Mexico county.
HB 438, sponsored by retired police officer Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, told the committee there are currently no requirements to run for the position of sheriff in New Mexico.
Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D- Albuquerque, applauded the bill’s sponsor for bringing the bill forward and said qualifications are long overdue.
“This is one of the remnants of the horse and buggy age of our state,” she said.
According to the bill’s Fiscal Impact Report, if the bill is passed, sheriff candidates would be required to:
- Be at least twenty-one years of age;
- Have at least seven years of professional law enforcement experience;
- Be a resident of the state and of the county for which the person is seeking to elected or appointed for at least one year;
- Not have been convicted of a felony;
- Have completed a basic law enforcement training program; and
- Have not been recalled from public office
The bill will move on to the House Judiciary Committee next.