The City of Rio Rancho is located northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico and was incorporated in 1981 with a population of 10,130. The police department became operational on October 31, 1981 and consisted of a chief of police, one patrol sergeant, seven patrol officers and six civilian support personnel.
The Department operated in this manner for approximately four years, until the City Council created the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on December 11, 1985. The city departments serving public safety were combined to form DPS. The Department of Public Safety coordinates the activities of law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire suppression, communications, animal control, fleet maintenance and code enforcement. DPS now serves a community of 75,000 people. With the dynamic growth of the city, DPS will keep pace serving the ever-expanding safety needs of its citizens.