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This directive is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee’s civil liability in any way. The directive should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care, in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for non-judicial administrative action in accordance with the rules and laws governing employee discipline.
APPROVED BY: Sheriff Ken Christesen EFFECTIVE DATE: 5/7/2017
NMLEA STANDARDS: OPR.04.01 - OPR.04.05 & OPR.08.05 LAST MODIFIED: 12/8/2017 LAST REVIEW: 12/6/2017


The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to protecting and serving all citizens alike. The Sheriff’s Office Code of Ethics does not distinguish between adults and juveniles regarding the safeguarding of lives or the pursuit of criminals. Therefore, juvenile investigations will be conducted as fairly and professionally as those of adults, regardless if the juvenile is a suspect or victim of a crime. The Sheriff’s Office understands and embraces the legal and situational differences required of deputies when dealing with juveniles. To aid in consistency and accountability, this policy provides operational guidelines for the most commonly encountered juvenile operations.


It is the policy of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to handle all situations involving juveniles in a professional and competent manner. After securing the safety of all persons involved in an incident, employees must consider a juvenile’s health, safety, and welfare when making decisions and attempt to safeguard the integrity of both the individual rights and family structure of all involved.


The following definitions will apply for the purposes of this policy:

  • Adjudicated – Refers to a juvenile who has received some form of formal probation, consent decree, or sentencing from an offense committed.

  • Child or Family in Need of Family Services – A family whose child’s behavior endangers the child’s health, safety, education, or well-being; a family whose child is absent from the child’s place of residence for twenty-four hours or more without consent of the parent, guardian, or custodian; a family in which the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child refuses to permit the child to live with the parent, guardian, or custodian; or a family in which the child refuses to live with his parent, guardian, or custodian.

  • Children’s Code – NMSA Chapter 32A, Articles 1-23, 1978.

  • Custodian – An adult with whom the child lives who is not a parent or guardian of the child.

  • CYFD – The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

  • Delinquent Act – An act committed by a juvenile that would be designated as a crime under the law if committed by an adult.

  • Guardian – A person appointed as a guardian by a court or Indian tribal authority or a person authorized to care for the child by a parental power of attorney as permitted by law.

  • JDC – The San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center.

  • JPO – Juvenile Probation Office. JPO falls under CYFD which is under the Juvenile Justice Services.

  • Juvenile – A person who is less than 18 years of age. May also be referred to as a child in state statutes and definitions.

  • Parent(s) – A biological or adoptive parent who has a constitutionally protected liberty interest (one who has not relinquished or had their parental rights fully terminated) in the care and custody of the child.

  • Status Offense – An act committed by a juvenile that would not constitute a crime if committed by an adult (i.e., truancy, runaway, etc.).



The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the development and continuation of programs and procedures designed to reduce incidents of juvenile delinquency and may create partnerships with other juvenile-related operations within San Juan County to achieve this goal.

Sheriff’s Office employees should understand that the successful reduction of juvenile delinquency acts is a combined effort shared by everyone involved and may require participation in juvenile functions and programs.

Cut-off ages for juveniles, such as for Miranda purposes and statutory rules, are the actual birth day. For example, “under the age of 13” means the day prior to the 13th birthday and before, while “15 or older” means from the day of their 15th birthday and beyond.

Emancipated juveniles are treated the same as other juveniles concerning the provisions of this policy.

State statute mandates certain notifications and reporting requirements to be completed within a restricted timeframe for incidents involving juveniles. To maintain statutory compliance, all reports described in this policy must be completed and turned in by the end of the deputy’s shift. Only under extreme circumstances may a supervisor authorize a report to be temporarily delayed. Nothing in this policy prohibits a supervisor from requiring an incident report from a deputy handling any type of juvenile action or incident.

No juvenile under the age of 13 who is alleged or adjudicated to be delinquent will be fingerprinted or photographed for identification purposes without a court order.

Pursuant to 32A-2-10(C) NMSA 1978, no juvenile under the age of 11 will be held in detention. If a juvenile under the age of 11 poses a substantial risk of harm to him or herself or others, a deputy may detain and transport the juvenile for an emergency mental health evaluation and care in accordance with 32A-6A-19 NMSA 1978.


In furtherance of the commitment to reduce juvenile delinquency, the Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with local educational facilities, may assign a deputy to work as a school resource officer (SRO) in schools within San Juan County.

The Sheriff’s Office will have a memorandum of understanding with any school where an SRO has been assigned. This MOU will clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the SRO as well as how school and law enforcement operations will merge for the effective and lawful handling of juveniles. Aside from their primary duties as a deputy and the specifics of the MOU, the SRO is responsible for:

  • Acting as a resource with respect to delinquency prevention;
  • Providing professional guidance on ethical issues in a classroom setting;
  • Providing law enforcement related advice to students; and
  • Explaining the law enforcement role in society.

Along with state mandated maintenance training, SROs should receive pertinent advanced training.


For accountability purposes, extra steps must be taken when transporting a juvenile. Pursuant to the Sheriff’s Office In-Car Camera Policy, camera activation is required during all transports, including juveniles. Furthermore, juveniles cannot be transported with adult prisoners at the same time. Deputies will advise dispatch of their starting/ending locations and beginning/ending mileage when transporting a juvenile of either sex for any reason.


Consistent with all Sheriff’s Office operations, deputies should ensure that the constitutional rights of all juveniles are protected and their safety and health are of paramount importance.

The final decision regarding the disposition of a juvenile (e.g., custody and housing) is usually made by the deputy working collaboratively with JPO and/or CYFD. Information must be relayed in a timely and accurate manner so the least coercive amongst reasonable alternatives is taken.

Some generalized principles that must be considered are:

  • When possible, attempt to maintain the family integrity by only removing a juvenile when necessary for their safety and welfare.
  • The juvenile’s age, mental capacity, history, and family support/structure.

Custody options for juveniles may consist of the following:

  • Deliver to a medical facility if required or deemed necessary;
  • Release with no further action;
  • Release to their parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • Deliver to a juvenile facility without delay unless medical attention is needed; or
  • Cite or petition for charges in lieu of detention.

When a deputy takes a juvenile into custody, it is that deputy’s responsibility to make a reasonable effort to contact a parent, guardian, or custodian to inform them of the situation and where the juvenile has been placed. In the event a parent, guardian, or custodian cannot be reached, this information should be relayed to the facility staff where the juvenile is brought to when the custody transfer occurs.

An incident report is required for all juvenile custodial arrests.


Child pick-up orders, ex parte orders, and writs of habeas corpus may direct the Sheriff to seize a person, including a juvenile. Care should always be taken to ensure that all documents are in order and that every safety precaution is taken.

As stated in the Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Manual, the Sheriff’s Office does not enforce divorce decrees regarding the custody of juveniles. Requests to do so should be referred to the courts for an order requiring the Sheriff to take a specific action. Similarly, out-of-state orders to seize a juvenile must be domesticated (filed with the Clerk of the District Court) and not be confused with Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO).

A deputy will not seize a juvenile unless they have a New Mexico District Court order specifically ordering the Sheriff of San Juan County to make the seizure and specifying who to give the juvenile to, or a DVRO which is explicit in its direction regarding the juvenile. (Criminal cases where the deputy has probable cause to believe a juvenile is in immediate jeopardy are an exception to the requirement for a court order. In these situations, a Sheriff’s Office supervisor will determine the appropriate action with assistance from CYFD.)

When picking up a juvenile from a school in accordance with a valid court order, the deputy will coordinate with school officials and CYFD to ensure every effort is made to limit the juvenile’s exposure to stress and humiliation.

In cases where a deputy is contacted to assist CYFD in seizing a juvenile when there is no valid court order in place to do so, a patrol supervisor will be immediately notified so he or she can respond to the scene. If there is enough evidence to support an immediate seizure (NMSA 32A-3B-3), the supervisor can authorize the seizure and the juvenile will be turned over to CYFD. If there is not enough evidence to support such, a valid court order must be obtained by CYFD prior to making the seizure.


Most status offenses are in the form of runaways, truancies, and curfew violations.

Status offenders will not be placed in a secure setting such as in holding cells or locked rooms and may not be handcuffed to a stationary object. They must always be kept in regular sight and supervision and must be sight and sound separated from adult offenders. This does not prohibit a deputy from placing a status offender in handcuffs when there is an articulable safety or security reason.

Deputies will investigate any report of a runaway they receive. NMSA 29-15-7 requires strict adherence to all runaways being reported and entered into the Clearinghouse and NCIC within two hours of dispatch receiving the initial call. If a runaway is not immediately located, deputies must complete all necessary paperwork to include state mandated forms, Locals/ATL form, the Sheriff’s Office Statement of Intent form, and an NCIC entry with as much information as has been obtained at that time. All paperwork (except for the Statement of Intent) should be immediately transmitted to the Sheriff’s Office NCIC division during normal business hours or the San Juan County Communications Authority during non-business hours, so the Clearinghouse and NCIC entry can be made within the two-hour time frame. This paperwork must be submitted even when only limited information is available. Any supplemental information discovered thereafter should be entered into the Clearinghouse and NCIC within two hours from the time obtained. Deputies will complete an incident report to document all known facts and actions taken, and must turn in all paperwork prior to the end of shift.

Juveniles who “walk away” from the San Juan County Crisis Shelter or the PMS Residential Treatment Center (located in the same building as the Crisis Shelter) will be treated the same as a runaway regarding the investigation, reports, paperwork, and recovery procedures.

Pursuant to NMSA 32A-1-21, recovered runaways should be returned to the parent, guardian, or custodian unless a safety concern is present. In these cases, CYFD should be contacted for guidance on placing the juvenile. Deputies may hold a juvenile for up to six hours if the parent, guardian, or custodian cannot be located. If after six hours contact has yet to be made, the juvenile may be taken into protective custody pursuant to NMSA 32A-3B-3.

In all runaway cases, the report will be referred to JPO for a “Child or Family in Need of Family Services” and any other charge(s) deemed necessary by the investigating deputy or JPO.

Law enforcement has little involvement with truancy violations as the respective school is the primary investigator and the District Attorney’s Office is the charging agent. At most, law enforcement serves as a support function, providing supplemental investigations and documentation to the school. A deputy contacting a truancy violator should gather all information as to the reasoning for the absence as well as parent, guardian, or custodian knowledge of such. This information should be relayed to the SRO who will ensure that it is provided to the school for their investigative purposes.

Curfew violations are not defined in state statute nor enforced in the unincorporated areas of San Juan County (ACLU v. City of Albuquerque 128 N.M. 315 (N.M. 1999)). Nothing prohibits a deputy from contacting any person, including a juvenile, under lawful means in a community caretaker or investigative manner. If a deputy contacts a juvenile without a parent, guardian, or custodian, at an “abnormal” time of night, and the juvenile does not have a valid reason for being out at that time, the deputy should attempt to contact a parent, guardian, or custodian to ensure their awareness of the situation. Disposition of the juvenile should follow the parameters set forth in this policy regarding custody in general.


The enforcement action for juveniles taken into custody for a delinquent act can vary greatly depending on the seriousness of the crime, aggravating and/or mitigating circumstances, known history, age, mental capacity, education, etc. Because the authority to incarcerate a juvenile rests solely with JPO, deputies will notify JPO of any juvenile custodial arrest and relay any relevant information as described above. For efficiency of operations, deputies are encouraged to contact the on-call JPO from the field.

If JPO orders the juvenile to be incarcerated, the arresting deputy will transport the offender to JDC and complete the probable cause statement, booking authorization, parent notification, and officer questionnaire (criminal complaints are not utilized for juveniles). The arresting deputy will make a reasonable effort to notify the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or custodian of the arrest, place of detention, and charge(s) pending. If a parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to be contacted, the deputy should notify JDC staff of this fact so follow-up contact can be made by them. The deputy will complete an incident report and turn in all paperwork associated with a juvenile arrest prior to the end of shift. This report and documentation will be forwarded or transmitted by the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division to the Juvenile Probation Office without unreasonable delay.

If JPO orders the juvenile to be released, the deputy will release him or her to a parent, guardian, or custodian. A report will be completed by the deputy, specifically listing the offense name(s) and statute number(s) petitioned for. Once approved by a shift supervisor, this report will be forwarded to the Juvenile Probation Office through the Detective Division.

If JPO orders the juvenile to be taken to the San Juan County Crisis Shelter, the deputy will transport the offender to JDC and complete all required paperwork. Custody of the juvenile will be relinquished to JDC who is responsible for escorting the juvenile to the Crisis Shelter. As before, the deputy is responsible for notifying the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or custodian of their location and to notify JDC staff if contact was not made so follow-up contact can be made by JDC. A report will be completed by the deputy listing the offense name(s) and statute number(s) petitioned for, and forwarded to JPO through the Detective Division.

At times, an arrest warrant for a juvenile may be sought for more serious crimes (murder, rape, etc.). All warrants sought for a juvenile offender must be approved by a district court judge and filed in district court (warrant heading must state “district court”). The juvenile will be labeled as “a child” and not “a defendant” on the warrant and affidavit. Any crime charged should be labeled as a “delinquent act” and not a “crime.” The remaining warrant procedures for juveniles are identical to those for an adult, including the affidavit and criminal complaint(s).

Any adult arrested on a juvenile warrant must be booked in at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, even when the juvenile warrant is the sole charge. In these cases, the arresting deputy will contact JDC and notify them of the arrest regardless of the day or time.


As with traffic enforcement for adults, deputies can utilize discretion when determining whether to cite or warn a juvenile traffic offender. Aside from violations that rise to the level of a delinquent act (described below), a citation may be issued to a juvenile. For offenses where a penalty assessment is not an option, or when the juvenile chooses to contest the citation in court, he or she will be cited into magistrate court. The juvenile will be charged utilizing a traffic citation and the issuing deputy will explain the following information:

  • The violation being charged;
  • The name and address of the court they are to appear in; and
  • The court appearance date or time frame to appear.

Once the juvenile indicates that they understand the citation, the deputy will have the juvenile sign the citation.

The procedure for a juvenile opting to take the penalty assessment is the same as for adults.

As detailed in NMSA 32A-2-29(B), in the event a juvenile is charged with a violation of the Motor Vehicle Code at the same time as a delinquent act, all charges, including the traffic violation(s), should be referred to JPO. Citations should be issued for the traffic violations with all copies distributed as normal except for the court copy which is sent to JPO.

Along with other offenses listed in NMSA 32A-2-3, the following Motor Vehicle Code violations, when committed by a juvenile, are considered as delinquent acts and will be handled by JPO:

  • driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs;
  • failure to stop in the event of an accident causing death, personal injury, or damage to property;
  • altering or forging of a driver's license or permit or any making of a fictitious license or permit;
  • reckless driving; or
  • driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Deputies will handle the above listed delinquent acts pursuant to the “Delinquent Acts” section of this policy.


In accordance with the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (NMSA 32A-10-9), deputies may take into custody, a juvenile who has been accused or adjudicated as a status offender or delinquent from other states of the United States.

When a juvenile from another state is taken into custody, JPO will be immediately notified and will instruct the deputy as to where the juvenile should be placed. It is the responsibility of JPO to contact the Interstate Commission for Juveniles to coordinate extradition.


When a deputy detains a foreign national who is a juvenile, and the minor is a national of a “mandatory notification” country, notification must be made to the nearest consulate, without delay. If the juvenile is not a national of a “mandatory notification” country, an attempt to locate the juvenile’s parent or guardian and ask whether he or she wants notification made to the consulate of the juvenile’s detention should be made. In the event a legal guardian is unable to be located within 24 to 72 hours, or there is reason to believe the juvenile is a victim of abuse or trafficking and that contacting the parent or guardian would place the juvenile in danger, notification should be made to the consulate unless, under the circumstances, there is reason to believe notification could be detrimental to the juvenile (e.g., if the juvenile is seeking safety (asylum) in the United States). In such cases, a court or other competent authority should be asked to determine whether notification would be in the best interests of the juvenile.

When a deputy detains a foreign national who is a juvenile, regardless if they are from a mandatory notification country, the deputy will:

  • Immediately contact JPO and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • Document in an incident report the date, time, and any person(s) contacted or attempted to be contacted.

For the purposes of foreign national juveniles, “detain” means any arrest, detention, or other commitment to custody which results in a foreign national being incarcerated. A brief traffic stop or traffic crash investigation does not constitute a detainment. Further information regarding foreign nationals can be found in the Sheriff’s Office Consular Notification & Access Policy.


At all times, deputies are encouraged to gather information and be cognizant of a juvenile’s family/support situation. If a deputy identifies a situation amounting to a “child or family in need of family services,” the information amounting to the need will be documented in a report. The report should state the charge as “Child in Need of Services/Incorrigible” and referred to the Detective Division to be forwarded to JPO.


New Mexico State Statute 32A-2-14(C) grants juveniles even greater rights than those provided by the Fifth Amendment. Under this statute, if formal charges have been filed or the minor has been seized pursuant to an investigatory detention and is no longer free to leave (e.g., Terry stop), he or she must be informed of the “right to remain silent” and the fact that “anything said can be used against them” prior to being questioned. This abbreviated Miranda warning is commonly referred to as “Mini-Miranda” and is often used (but not limited to) during brief, informal interviews. The juvenile need only be advised of the right to remain silent, not the right to counsel (although that warning must be given with the rest of the Juvenile Miranda warning if the detention becomes equivalent to a custodial arrest). This requirement does not apply to routine administrative questions (name, age, documents, etc.) when the juvenile is not the subject of an investigatory detention.

A deputy should consider the following factors when determining to interview/interrogate any juvenile:

  • Age and education;
  • Mental and physical condition;
  • Whether they are in custody at the time of questioning;
  • The manner in which they were advised of their rights;
  • The length and circumstances under which the questioning will occur;
  • The condition of the quarters in which the juvenile will be detained and questioned in;
  • The time of day and treatment (deprivation of food, water, or sleep) of the juvenile at the time of questioning; and
  • Whether counsel, friends, relatives, or a parent, guardian, or custodian are present at the time of questioning.

No juvenile suspected of committing a delinquent act or status offense can be interrogated or questioned without first advising them of their constitutional rights and securing a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver. This can be accomplished with the Sheriff’s Office “Juvenile Advise and Waiver of Rights” form.

All interrogations of juveniles will be audio/visual recorded and documented in an incident report.

The duration of an interrogation and the number of interrogators will be limited to that which is reasonably necessary to accomplish the investigative purpose.

A deputy will make a reasonable attempt to discuss the situation with a parent, guardian, or custodian and explain any applicable agency and juvenile justice procedures to the involved juvenile. This explanation will be documented in the deputy’s incident report.

Confessions, statements, or admissions by a juvenile between the ages of 13 and 14 to a person in a position of authority are presumed to be inadmissible (DeAngelo). To rebut this presumption, it must be shown that the juvenile was warned of his constitutional and statutory rights (Juvenile Miranda), and knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived each right. To prove the second element, the recording of the custodial interrogation which resulted in the statement/confession/admission must prove clearly and convincingly that their answers to open-ended questions demonstrated that he or she has the maturity to understand each of their constitutional and statutory rights and the force of will to insist on exercising those rights.

State statute protects any juvenile under the age of 13 by making any self-incriminating statement, confession, or admission inadmissible in court. This is true even if a waiver of rights has been obtained. While inadmissible in a criminal court, such statements may prove useful in furthering an investigation or in civil proceedings. The investigating deputy should use discretion and consult with a supervisor before determining whether or not to interview a suspect juvenile under the age of 13. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to, public safety concerns and/or the health, safety, and welfare of the juvenile.


The Sheriff’s Office maintains temporary holding cells at each of its locations which may be utilized for adults or juveniles arrested for a delinquent act. No juvenile will be placed into a holding cell or in an area with an adult offender at the same time and must be sight and sound separated from adult offenders. This includes adults in an adjacent holding cell. Delinquent juveniles may only be held for up to six hours for processing purposes.

Status offenders will not be placed in a secure setting such as holding cells, locked rooms, or handcuffed to a stationary object. This does not prohibit a deputy from placing a status offender in handcuffs when there is an articulable safety or security reason.

State statute (NMSA 32A-2-4.1) requires that any juvenile being temporarily detained for a delinquent act be recorded on the New Mexico Secure Holding Log. A copy of this log is maintained by each holding cell area and must be filled out by the deputy when a juvenile is detained in a Sheriff’s Office building or placed in a holding cell. “Detained” includes being held in any part of a Sheriff’s Office building when:

  • placed in a locked holding cell;
  • handcuffed to anything other than themselves; or
  • placed in an area with delay locks (requiring activation of a button to exit with a delay of 30 seconds or more).

In the event the log book is missing, the support services lieutenant or a supervisor should be contacted for assistance.

The Sheriff’s Office support services lieutenant is responsible for submitting the log book on a quarterly basis (or as designated by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Compliance Monitor), facilitating any mandated/required audits, and ensuring compliance with any state or federal law(s).


Pursuant to NMSA 32A-4-6, a deputy may take a juvenile into protective custody when there is evidence giving rise to reasonable grounds to believe that the juvenile is abused or neglected and that there is an immediate threat to the juvenile’s safety. The on-duty Sheriff’s Office supervisor will be involved in the decision to take a juvenile into protective custody. Prior to taking custody, CYFD must be contacted to conduct an on-site safety assessment except when:

  • the juvenile's parent, guardian or custodian has attempted, conspired to cause, or caused great bodily harm to the juvenile or great bodily harm or death to their sibling;
  • the juvenile's parent, guardian or custodian has attempted, conspired to cause, or caused great bodily harm or death to the other parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • the juvenile has been abandoned;
  • the juvenile needs emergency medical care;
  • CYFD is not available to conduct a safety assessment in a timely manner; or
  • the juvenile is in imminent risk of abuse.

In accordance with NMSA 32A-4-7, the deputy will, with all reasonable speed:

  • If safe to do so, release the juvenile to the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • Deliver the juvenile to CYFD or a shelter-care facility; or
  • If suffering from a serious physical or mental condition or illness, deliver the juvenile to a medical facility. Under these circumstances, the deputy must immediately notify CYFD that the juvenile has been placed in their (CYFD) legal custody.

By law, every deputy has a duty and obligation to report to the CYFD State Centralized Intake (SCI) at 1-800-797-3260 of any instance of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other exposure to danger/harm as defined in NMSA 32A-4-3. This is achieved by immediately transmitting the facts of the report and the name, address, and phone number of the reporter to CYFD by telephone at 1-855-333-SAFE, 1-800-797-3260, or #SAFE from any cell phone.

Any deputy receiving a report of abuse or neglect will initiate a prompt investigation and document the findings in an incident report. The deputy will ensure that immediate steps are taken to protect the health or welfare of the alleged abused or neglected juvenile, as well as that of any other juvenile under the same care who may be in danger of abuse or neglect. The deputy’s written report must contain the name(s) and address of the juvenile(s), injuries (to include any evidence of previous injuries), and any other information that might aid in establishing the cause of the injuries and the identity of the person responsible for the injuries as known at the time of the report.

Along with the above mentioned telephonic notification to CYFD, all incidents of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other exposure to danger/harm must be transmitted to CYFD in writing within 48 hours. This written notification is made via incident reports sent through the Sheriff’s Office Detective Records Technician. Shift supervisors are responsible for ensuring that reports are turned in on time and any corrections needed are made. Supervisors must complete a Detective Division referral so CYFD notifications can be made within the required 48-hour time frame.


To provide the most effective services available, the Sheriff’s Office has agreed to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team with CYFD when investigating crimes against children. The Sheriff’s Office has also agreed to the conditions set forth in the “Law Enforcement Guidelines for Crimes against Children” which outlines responsibilities and steps to take for such crimes.

To facilitate a professional investigation and reduce potential trauma to a victim(s) and their family, Safehouse interviews are utilized by the Sheriff’s Office for interviewing juvenile victims of abuse. These interviews are designed to be developmentally appropriate, culturally competent, and are conducted by a specially trained forensic interviewer(s) working for the Childhaven Child Advocacy Center.

Safehouse interviews are coordinated by the Detective Division. While these forensic interviews are primarily utilized for juveniles age 13 and under, a collaborative decision may be made between the investigating detective and the forensic interviewer to utilize the method on juveniles older than 13. This decision is dictated by the needs of the victim as well as that of the case itself.


All records, reports, items, and other information or data, as defined in the Inspection of Public Records Act, will be maintained and disseminated according to the Sheriff’s Office Public Records Release Policy.

Upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, and in compliance with the Children’s Code, the Sheriff’s Office will “seal” records specified in the order or pursuant to the Children’s Code with respect to any juvenile coming under the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.

Nothing in this policy should be construed as to limit the Sheriff’s Office’s ability or obligation to disclose juvenile information obtained or retained in compliance with the “Inspection of Public Records Act,” "Arrest Record Information Act," or other New Mexico statutes.


  1. SJCSO Policy ADMN-104.00 “Code of Ethics”
  2. Children's Code [Chapter 32A, NMSA 1978]
  3. Release or delivery from custody [32A-2-10 (C) NMSA 1978]
  4. Emergency mental health evaluation and care [32A-6A-19]
  5. Memorandum of Understanding Between SJCSO and CCSD for the School Resource Officer Program in Kirtland Schools
  6. SJCSO Policy OPER-330.00 “In-Car Video”
  7. Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Manual
  8. Law enforcement requirements; missing person reports; unidentified human remains [29-15-7 NMSA 1978]
  9. ACLU v. City of Albuquerque 128 N.M. 315 (N.M. 1999)
  10. SJCSO Policy OPER-331.00 “Consular Notification & Access”
  11. State v. DeAngelo M., 2015-NMSC-033
  12. Law Enforcement Guidelines for Crimes Against Children – Multi-Agency MOU
  13. SJCSO Policy OPER-322.00 “Public Records Release”
  14. Inspection of Public Records [Chapter 14, Article 2, NMSA 1978]
  15. Arrest Record Information [Chapter 29, Article 10, NMSA 1978]