SANTA FE — A deputy chief of the Santa Fe Police Department and a deputy chief for the Rio Rancho Police Department are the final two candidates for the next Santa Fe police chief, city manager John Blair announced Monday.

Paul Joye is currently the deputy chief of police operations for the Santa Fe Police Department and is serving as interim chief. Andrew Rodriguez is currently the deputy chief of police for the Rio Rancho Police Department.

Rio Rancho Police Department Deputy Chief Andrew Rodriguez hands out mini-flags during the 2021 Independence Day celebration at the new Campus Park. Rodriguez is one of two finalists in the search for the new Santa Fe police chief. Gary Herron photo.

“Interim chief Joye and deputy chief Rodriguez have both shown themselves to be highly qualified law enforcement professionals who I believe could successfully serve as Santa Fe’s next police chief,” Blair said, in a news release.
The next chief will replace Andrew Padilla, who retired in December.
Joye and Rodriguez were chosen from 10 candidates, four from out-of-state and the rest from New Mexico. No women candidates applied.
All candidates participated in two dialogue sessions with a number of Santa Fe leaders representing local law enforcement, the business community, public health and safety, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board and Veteran’s Advisory Board. Additionally, 366 citizens completed a survey on what they wished to see in a police chief.

Next week, the two finalists will meet with city officials and there will be a public question and answer forum. Blair is expected to name the next police chief by the end of March 2022.

Rodriguez has worked his way up through the ranks of RRPD, becoming one of two deputy chiefs in March 2020.

Rio Rancho Police Department didn’t respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Observer news editor Argen Marie Duncan contributed to this report.