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A soldier, the son of a family steeped in firefighters and military personnel and a history/psychology buff are the newest officers to join the local police force.
The newly-minted officers graduated from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe Feb. 3 and in a series of interviews, explain why they’ve chosen to serve in Los Alamos.
“It’s very nice to have the support of the community – people here are happy to see us and they say hi and speak to us as opposed to some of the officers at the academy whose communities are negative and unsupportive toward their police,” Ofc. Jordan Redmond said. “The officers here really do feel a sense that the citizens support us and that’s just a great sensation.”
Redmond, 27, earned the academy’s top academic achievement award in his class of 45 officers participating from throughout the state. He is the son of former U.S. Congressman Bill Redmond, who is Cutthe New Mexico Republican Party treasurer.
“I was born in Illinois and moved to Los Alamos with my parents when I was 4 years old,” Redmond said. “My dad’s educational background is in philosophical science so he wanted to move here because of the scientific community. He started a church in Santa Fe.”
Redmond was drawn to police work from childhood because he has been interested in psychology and history and how they impact human behavior, he said.
“I’m really fascinated by people and the decisions they choose to make and my educational background helps me understand their motivations,” he said.
Redmond is single and resides in Los Alamos.
Ofc. Daniel Roberts is a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and valedictorian at last week’s law enforcement academy graduation. During his eight-year military career, Roberts served two back-to-back tours of duty in South Korea. He has served the last two years with the New Mexico National Guard. Roberts was activated to service last Saturday and placed in charge of the Espanola National Guard Armory for the state of emergency declared by Gov. Susana Martinez.
“Our mission is to help the community and assist them in any way needed to repressurize all the gas lines to the homes here,” Roberts said during an interview from the armory.
Roberts, 28, has been married for just over a year to Kimberly Roberts from Sonora, Mexico. He explained that he always wanted to have a family but felt the active Army was too difficult a career in which to have a family.
“I felt the police force was the closest thing to a military career; I was born in Los Alamos so I wanted to be a part of the Los Alamos Police Department,” he said.
Ofc. Robert Stephens was born in Berlin, Germany. His father served in the U. S. Army and then received a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Stephens moved to Los Alamos following his high school graduation in Florida in 2001. Stephens attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and has just a couple of classes remaining to graduate.
Stephens, 28, has always been drawn to public service, he said.
“Most of my mom’s side of the family are firefighters and dad’s side are military and while I wasn’t interested in either of those fields – the public service aspect appealed to me and I liked the idea of being a police officer to help people,” he said.
Stephens, Roberts and Redmond spent 21 weeks studying and training at the police academy and are in field training with senior officers in Los Alamos.
Chief Wayne Torpy commended his newest officers saying, “We’re very pleased not only to have these positions filled but to have the ability to recruit this high caliber of employees and I truly believe the reputation of our police department is due to the fine quality of our existing police personnel.”
The LAPD is a New Mexico Law Enforcement Professional Standards Council accredited department. Its patrol division is comprised of 36 sworn officers including four sergeants, two lieutenants and one deputy chief.