Four candidates, all with law enforcement experience, are running to replace outgoing Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano in the June 1 Democratic primary election. All took SFR’s candidate Pop Quiz—no questions in advance and no research allowed.


1.    How many push-ups must a person of your age do in one minute to pass the Sheriff’s Office physical agility test?

2.    This year, the New Mexico state Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have stopped domestic violence convicts from working as police. What will you do to reduce domestic violence within the force?

3.    Statewide through March, there were 79 traffic fatalities this year. What percent involved alcohol?

4.    here does most of Santa Fe’s marijuana originate?

5.    What is the minimum time requirement for in-service training for safe pursuits?

6.    How many housing units lie within all three phases of the areas proposed for annexation by the City of Santa Fe?

7.    This is a three-part question. According to the county’s crime mapper, [A] how many assaults did SFCSO respond to during the week of April 4? [B] How many thefts from vehicle? [C] How many alarm checks?


F Charles “Charlie” Dalton, 53, retired Santa Fe Police Department officer

1.    My age, probably around 15.

2.    Well, domestic violence has a lot of causes where it originates from, but what we need to do is we need to have a program in-house that, when you become a police officer, it’s more than the flash and the dash, going from call to call and the glamour stuff that goes with it—it’s not what you see on TV. I have a long answer for this, and that would be stress-management courses for cadets that come in. Some of these cadets come in with a preconceived notion of what they see on TV. We need to educate them that you’re going to see a lot of terrible things. You need to be prepared for that. During their tenures, as well, have courses and updates available to them at all times, so they can deal with that rather than taking it home and taking it to the bottle or your spouse. I want to take it a step further, and have this available to them after they retire. So I would have a good stress-management program. Once you leave the police, there’s a lot of things you take with you, just like any job. This program should be available to spouses as well.

3.    Percentage, probably about 87 percent or higher.

4.    Where does it originate? There’s a couple of sources. It’s coming in from Nogales [Ariz.], the last I heard, and it’s coming up through the borders and the border crossings. We also have a problem on I-40. I-40 goes right to California, and we have our different distributors in those areas. We need to focus not only on the local people here, but also people who are trafficking. The answer is, everywhere [laughs].

5.    As of this year? I believe it’s 16.

6.    I don’t have that number.

7.    [A] I haven’t looked to the map this week, but it’s somewhere around four to six. I looked at the week before, but this week I’ve been really busy. [B] In that same period, last week? Well, auto burglaries is an issue, but I’m going to go out there because I haven’t visited the map, I’m going to say about eight. Probably. [C] In that area, or in the county itself?

8.   What's the most pressing crime problem in Santa Fe County?

9.   Which county official appoints animal control officers?

10.  How much more per hour does a Deputy Class II make in Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office versus Santa Fe TK?

11.  In fiscal year 2009, the Santa Fe County Corrections budget was $23.3 million. How much of that was for inmate medical services?

8.   Residential burglary is up there. Burglaries in general, but residential.
9.   The county official? There’s a director of animal control, and they work directly for the Sheriff’s Department.
10. I don’t like to guess, but I know there’s a disparity between the two. I would say it’s anywhere between four to five difference—sorry, three to five difference. It just depends, because you’re talking about tenure, and merit increases, and cost of living increases, so it’s kind of a difficult number to throw out; that’s my opinion of it.
11. You know, that's something I remember I researched it and I looked at it, but I’ve been so inundated with numbers, I just can’t recall the number. I don’t want to go off and say so many million, but it was somewhere near the million-dollar mark, as I recall. I’m not sure.

These are alarm checks by SFCSO.

A lot of the calls are just entered into the computer—again I give you the number eight, commercial and residential combined.

Rex E Doerfer, 67, “semi-retired [from SFCSO]; I work part-time at Walmart in Edgewood just to have something to do”

1.   I would say probably about 40.

2.   Counseling. Set up programs to help people, the officers and the wives understand the job better. Get more of an understanding of what the officers go through. Because there’s a lot of frustration within the family structure because of the officer’s hours that he works; he’s never home. It’s pretty—it’s pretty rigorous on the family life because the husband or the officer is working different shifts, and he has to sleep when he’s not working.

It’s pretty strenuous on the family. I would say setting up counseling sessions, setting up group sessions for the wives and children so that they get a better understanding of the officer, his work schedule and things that he does, to try to get an understanding of what the officer does and try to alleviate stress that goes on within the family.

3.    Probably 80 percent.

4.    Across the border. It comes from Mexico. It comes up through the pipeline, along with all the other illegal drugs: cocaine, heroin. It comes across the border, the majority of it. There are some homegrown cultivation going on, in the outreaches of the county—I shouldn’t say county, but the resident suburbs of

different cities, they’re out in the county. You have some

homegrown farms going, but I would say the biggest majority, probably 90 percent, comes from across the border.

5.    Um, I believe it’s 20 hours of training.


For safe pursuit?


6.    I’m not sure. I don’t quite understand the question…I really couldn’t tell you. I don’t know.

7.    [A] I would say probably around 15. You have a lot of assault and battery response calls. [B] Deaths from vehicle? Oh, thefts from vehicle. I’ll say probably about 20. Because that’s a big deal. [C] Probably about 50. You respond to a lot of alarm calls.

8.    Uh, right now it's property crimes, and it's ranked by, uh, underage drinking and drug use. But as far as the most pressing, I would say property crimes, because right now Santa Fe County is very high in property crimes.

9.    Um, that would be the—the animal control officer falls under the Sheriff's Department.

10.  I’m going to say that the pay range is pretty close to what Bernalillo County makes. It’s pretty competitive. I believe Bernalillo makes a little bit more, but not that much. I couldn’t tell you exactly how much, because there’s been some changes with the pay scale since I retired, which was two years ago, so I’m not exactly sure. I’m going to say it’s pretty comparable.

11.  Uh, I wouldn't have any idea. I couldn't answer that question.

Robert A Garcia, 54, SFCSO undersheriff

1.    At 54? About 15.

2.    One of the things that we have been doing and continue to do is there’s a program in place where you identify an individual who’s displaying some behavior like this. And the other thing we’ve been doing is working with our local rape crisis: Rape Crisis and—I can’t remember the other name—Trauma! We’ve contracted with them in bringing counselors in, and making this available to all deputies and their spouses, to try to identify and deal with the stresses of the job. I’ve seen it throughout the years that the stresses of the job can create stresses at home. We’ll continue to do that.

3.    I would say at least 45 percent.

4.    Where does it originate? I would say in a lot of cases, and we do this annually, not only from within the county itself where it’s grown, but a lot of it comes in from Mexico. The Madrid area is one that we hit a lot, that we fly over in Santa Fe.

5.    You have mandatory training every year, as an example, 10 hours of in-service, and 10 hours of what they call advanced mandatory training. It’s actually 40 hours every two years.


What about safe pursuit?

I thought you were asking generally.

6.    ell, like you said, there’s the three phases, one that’s already taken effect in November of last year, that there weren’t a lot of housing units. I know the goal is beyond 5,000—like 5,700 housing units.

7.    [A] I would say seven, eight maybe. I wouldn’t give you the specific—I guess I missed the meeting there. [B] Theft from vehicle: I would say maybe 10, maybe less than that. [C] Alarm checks are daily. Gosh, daily alarm checks could average five to seven, so in a week’s time, I would say at least 30.

8.    Pressing crime problem? Um, property crimes. That’s a continuous issue. The way of dealing with the issue of property crimes such as burglary, which is a major concern, not only of Santa Fe County and other agencies through the country, that we’re dealing with, that is to continue to organize neighborhood watch programs. I’ve been in law enforcement now 30 years and have some memory of myself on patrol, it has been an issue since and will continue to be. Police can’t be everywhere at one time. That’s why we go to communities to assist us in combating property crimes.

9. Which county official appoints? The Sheriff's Office.

10. Well, uh, class two?



Bernalillo County and Santa Fe. Maybe two dollars, maybe. It's not very comparable.

11. Inmate medical. Mmm, at least $9 million.

Rubel A Tafoya, 38, Bernalillo County deputy sheriff

1.   I believe 24, 29 possibly.

2.   To reduce domestic violence within the force or that we respond to?


Within the force.

I would say just education and counseling. If you find out that deputies, whether male or female, are having problems at their home, you offer counseling to prevent that.

3.    I would say at least 80 percent.

4.    I would have to say—hmm. In the northern part of the state. I work narcotics in the task force. Several of our eradications and grows were in the northern part of the state—the larger ones, hundreds of plants. We have taken several down in the Cerrillos, Madrid areas as well. The largest number of cases I have worked were northern New Mexico.

5.    I believe it’s eight hours per deputy.

6.    I would say hundreds. I don’t know exactly, the exact number.

7.    I haven’t looked at the crime map statistics, so I wouldn’t know.

SFR: [Pause] So you’d rather not guess?

Yeah, I’d rather not.

8.    I would say DWIs.

9.    Which county official appoints? The Sheriff's Office.

10.  Well, uh, class two?



Bernalillo County and Santa Fe. Maybe two dollars, maybe. It's not very comparable.

11.  Inmate medical. Mmm, at least $9 million.

Answer Key


1.    For men ages 20-29: 29 push-ups; ages 30-39: 24; ages 40-49: 18; ages 50-59: 13; age 60 and up: 10

3.    35 percent, according to the University of New Mexico’s Traffic Fatality Analysis Report

4.    According to Peter Olson, spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, it’s safe to say that most of New Mexico’s marijuana comes from Mexico. “We catch literally tons of pot being smuggled through NM in trucks,” Olson writes to SFR. “Most of the legitimate truck loads originate in Arizona or California. How it gets from Mexico to those states I really don’t know.”

5.    According to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, at least four hours of mandatory training “shall be in safe pursuit.”

6.    At the city’s last count, 5,767

7.    [A] Seven assaults, [B] four thefts from vehicle, [C] 30 alarm checks; see

9.    The Sheriff does.

10.  Starting pay for a Deputy Class II in Santa Fe County is 80 cents per hour less than for a Deputy Class II in the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department.

11.  $4.8 million