Peñasco grad heads to U.S. Naval postgraduate program


Robert "Robbie" Vasquez, a 1996 graduate of Peñasco High School and a police captain with the Santa Fe Police Department, has been accepted into a prestigious postgraduate school with the U.S. Navy in Maryland at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Vasquez is the son of Robert and Francella (Herrera) Vasquez. As a captain with the Santa Fe Police Department, Vasquez is responsible for overseeing multiple specialized investigative units and a criminal intelligence unit within the Criminal Investigations Division, as well as providing guidance on policy development and administrative investigations.

At the age of 17, Vasquez enlisted in the New Mexico Army National Guard, where he served nearly 10 years and received an honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant. He began his law enforcement career at the age of 21 by joining the Taos Police Department and transferring to the Santa Fe Police Department a few months later. During his 18 years of law enforcement service, he served 10 years with the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team with various specialties to include responsibility as the SWAT team leader and assistant SWAT commander for four of the 10 years.

A majority of his career has been within the Criminal Investigations Division as a detective, lieutenant and now captain with experience in the Violent Crimes Unit, Crimes Against Children Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Unit and Region III Drug Task Force. He also spent more than a year in his department's Professional Standards Division/Internal Affairs Unit as a lieutenant. In June 2014, Vasquez was assigned to the New Mexico All Source Intelligence Center as the lieutenant for 16 months. It was this experience and extensive intelligence training that ignited his passion and desire to grasp a better understanding in all-source intelligence. Robert is responsible for creating the Santa Fe Police Department's first Criminal Intelligence and Analysis Center, which supports all agencies within Santa Fe County and Northern New Mexico.

Vasquez received an associate degree in arts from the Santa Fe Community College and Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice studies from New Mexico Highlands University. He continued with his education by attending the North Western University School of Police Staff and Command.

Outside of work, most of Vasquez's time is spent with his family - his wife and two sons. Fishing and hunting with his brother, Manuel Vasquez, is another of his favorite pastimes.