SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe has named Paul Joye its new chief of police following a months-long, nationwide search. Joye has been the interim chief for the last several months since the prior chief, Andrew Padilla, retired in December 2021.

Mayor Alan Webber and City Manager John Blair made the announcement in a news conference at the Santa Fe Police Department Thursday. The announcement comes a little more than two weeks after the city announced two finalists in the search: Joye and Rio Rancho Police Deputy Chief Andrew Rodriguez.

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“The opportunity to help carry us foreword as chief, I’m honored I’m humbled,” Paul Joye said during Thursday’s announcement. “I was the deputy chief of operations since 2019 and serving as interim chief beginning in December 2021 definitely gave me a broader view, aside from just operations about all the things and the responsibilities the department takes care of and the wants and needs of the community itself.”

Joye is a 15-year veteran of the Santa Fe Police Department, having moved to Santa Fe around 2006. City leaders called him the “best of both worlds” Thursday, saying he has the “buy-in” from other officers and brings new ideas to the table.

“Chief Joye is a good listener,” Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said. “Listening to the community, getting the voices of the people of Santa Fe into the police department is a priority he discussed in all of our interviews.”

When asked about how he hopes to build trust with the community amid a national reckoning over-policing, Joye highlighted the importance of community dialogue.

“At it’s best, when functioning most appropriately, it’s not the job of the police department to tell the community what’s best for the community,” Joye said. “The relationship has to be the other way around … a police department needs to listen to what the community is telling the police department what it needs from it.”

Joye won out over the second finalist, Andrew Rodriguez, who currently works for Rio Rancho Police. A deputy chief with Rio Rancho, Rodriguez has been with that department for 16 years.

The city conducted a national search to identify the finalists for the position. Each of the finalists participated in community dialogue sessions, a community survey, and a public Q&A session.