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Mounted Patrol

The New Mexico Mounted Patrol is an unpaid all-volunteer police auxiliary organization whose members undergo essentially the same training as all other law enforcement officers in the state. They remain on standby status except when called upon to assist in emergencies and special events. The name “Mounted” derives from the fact that in the early days much of their work was done on horseback. Even today horses are occasionally used.

Mounted Patrol license plate serial numbers explained, courtesy of long-time Mounted Patrol member David L. Minton.

Except for the earliest years, and continuing through at least 1992, Mounted Patrol license plates had a 2-part serial number with the parts separated by either a hyphen or the Zia symbol. The first part was the troop number and the second part indicated the rank of the member within that troop. The member’s badge number was the same as that on his/her license plate.

The troop numbers are as follows: 1 Santa Fe; 2 Albuquerque (disbanded); 3 Las Vegas; 5 Carrizozo; 6 Alamogordo; 10 Las Cruces; 12 Raton; 13 Roswell; 15 Roy; 17 Espanola; 18 Artesia; 20 Hobbs (disbanded); 21 Tucumcari; 24 Clovis; 26 Deming; 27 Lovington; 28 Moriarty.

The second part of the number, indicating the rank within a given troop was coded as follows: 1 First Lieutenant; 2 Second Lieutenant; 3 Sergeant. A troop could have more than one Sergeant, and those would be numbered 4, 5, 6, etc. All other numbers would be Troopers.
Photo Credits: 1942 courtesy Jim Gummoe.  1972, 1976, 1982, 1989, and 1990 courtesy David L. Minton.  All others by Bill Johnston.


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