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New Mexico State Police chief retires

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Kassetas brought back Harley Davidson legacy

SANTA FE — New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas retired Dec. 31, 2018 after 26 years with the department.

Kassetas started his career with the NMSP in 1992. His first duty station was Grants. During his career, Kassetas worked in both patrol and criminal investigations as an officer and supervisor.

On Aug. 1, 2013, he was appointed as the 21st New Mexico State Police chief and deputy secretary of the Department of Public Safety, Law Enforcement Program.

Kassetas directed the State Police, Motor Transportation Police, and Special Investigations Unit. Under his direction, he promoted an influential merger, which brought all three departments under the umbrella of New Mexico State Police.

When he began his tenure as chief, State Police manpower was at 513 officers, which Kassetas increased to 658. He graduated 11 recruit schools totaling 247 new officers, 23 of those being female officers.

Before his retirement, Kassetas wanted to bring back a part of the New Mexico State Police’s legacy.

In 1933, the New Mexico Motor Patrol was formed, and the original seven officers were issued Harley Davidson motorcycles. It has been almost 70 years since the New Mexico State Police has had a Harley Davidson in its fleet.

Kassetas said he was proud to add two new Harley Davidson motorcycles to the Motor Unit in 2019. The addition of these two Harley Davidsons will carry out the New Mexico State Police’s tradition, pride and honor.

Kassetas said he is honored and privileged to have served the people of New Mexico. He’s always aimed to make a positive difference, to be part of the community, serve the community and work together with the citizens of New Mexico.

The chief said he would like to thank the supervisors, officers, dispatchers and civilian employees for all they have done under his command. He said he’ll miss his day-to-day interactions with everyone.

As he leaves the New Mexico State Police, Kassetas wishes all the officers return home safe at the end of their shift, for the rest of their careers.