Rio Rancho Police Department isn’t losing a deputy chief right now.

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

Paul Joye, who served as deputy chief of operations and interim chief since late last year, was named chief of the Santa Fe Police Department on Thursday. RRPD Deputy Chief Andrew Rodriguez was the other finalist for the job.

Joye, 42, joined the Santa Fe Police in 2006 and moved up the ranks to become deputy chief of operations. He has served as interim chief since Dec. 3.

“He set himself apart during our search process, and I’m confident Chief Joye is best positioned to meet the needs of our police department and our city,” said City Manager John Blair, who announced the appointment with Community Health and Safety Director Kyra Ochoa in a news release.

After a month-long process and nationwide search, eight finalists were narrowed to two through an online survey, community question-and-answer and dialogue sessions and interviews with city leaders.

“I’m honored to be selected to lead the department,” Joye said in the release. “I have spent my entire professional public safety career dedicated to serving the City of Santa Fe, and working to make the Santa Fe Police Department the best version of itself — to be the department this community needs and deserves.”

Observer news editor Argen Marie Duncan contributed to this report.