Issac De Luna, Diana Cervantes, Christina Rodriguez
At the Bernalillo County South Area Command Center, Capt. Andrea Taylor’s office is calm and bright. Next to New Mexico Criminal Law manuals, there are crystals and a Virgen de Guadalupe candle.
“I don’t feel intimidated, but I do feel like I need to hold my own,” Capt. Taylor said, who has been part of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department since 2001.
“I hope that by being a female captain that I impress on the younger, female deputies that you can go far and that it doesn’t matter your gender.”
Capt. Taylor is the third female captain that the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department has had.
She is responsible for the daily activities of all deputies, sergeants, and lieutenants and on-call 24/7. She also handles all citizens complaints as well as running the Bernalillo County Animal Cruelty Taskforce.
If there’s any major incident in the South Valley, Capt. Taylor is the Incident Commander who takes charge of the scene.
“I’m fascinated by psychology and the daily dysfunctions that we all have, and I think this is a good way to help people,” Capt. Taylor said, who is also going to school full-time to get a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling.
When Capt. Taylor graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Criminology and Psychology degree, she took the test to be accepted into the BSCO Training Academy the day after. She passed on her first try.
Before becoming captain, Taylor served as a deputy for three years, as an undercover narcotics detective for five years, as a sergeant for three years, and a lieutenant for two years. She passed all her tests on the first try.
“People often ask, ‘what is your job?’ And I don’t think there’s enough adjectives to describe what I do. It’s so varied and that’s why I’m so fortunate.”
In her office, there’s a plastic bin filled with items that Capt. Taylor collects in order to hand out to the homeless, like socks and hygiene kits.
She also has colorful dog toys on the floor for the rescue dogs taken in for the Animal Cruelty taskforce. Capt. Taylor walks rescue dogs on the weekends and owns a rescue dog herself.
She says that is one of the many ways that she finds healing.
“I believe that the universe doesn’t do things to us, that it does things for us, and I try to spread that mentality to my deputies,” Capt. Taylor said.
Capt. Taylor talked about the importance of not always being a cop, and the importance of self-care.
“I think it’s easier for women to de-stress because when take off our uniform and we put our hair down, we don’t look like cops. No one would know that in my really cute Kate Spade bag there’s a pistol and a badge.”
April 17 was her 16 year anniversary with the department.