Patrick Gallagher, a native of Brooklyn, New York, was appointed as Chief of the Las Cruces Police Department on January 15, 2018. He assumed command of the department in the second largest city in New Mexico with 30 years of law enforcement experience with the New York City, Truth or Consequences and Santa Fe Police Departments. A specialist in organizational transparency with 16 years of executive level experience in law enforcement emphasizing crime control strategies and internal investigations, Chief Gallagher possesses a B.A. in Economics from Fordham University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Marist College.
In 1984, Chief Gallagher continued a long family tradition of law enforcement and began his career with the NYPD. Graduating at the top of his academy class, Chief Gallagher received the Mayor’s Award from Mayor Ed Koch and delivered the valedictory address at Madison Square Garden. Over the course of his NYPD career, Chief Gallagher rose through the ranks from Police Officer to Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and finally Deputy Inspector. His assignments within the NYPD included patrol duty at every rank in many different areas of New York City such as Times Square, Coney Island, Fort Greene, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bay Ridge and Staten Island.
Selected to be a Police Academy instructor early in his career, Chief Gallagher trained both newly hired and tenured employees in all areas of police procedure, ethics, legal theory and investigative techniques. Later, as an investigative commander in the Internal Affairs Bureau, Chief Gallagher was instrumental in bringing many complex and sensitive corruption investigations to their successful conclusions. On two separate occasions, at the request of the Dominican Republic’s Secretary of the Interior and the Dominican Ambassador to the United States, Chief Gallagher traveled to that Caribbean nation to conduct an in-depth analysis of the Dominican National Police Department. This analysis resulted in a wholesale transformation of that department’s corruption prevention strategies.
Chief Gallagher was a first responder to both the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and was a Zone Commander for the rescue and recovery operations that occurred over the months that followed 9/11. After retiring from the NYPD, he worked for Marist College in several capacities including adjunct professor and Assistant Director of Graduate and Adult Admissions. From 2009 to 2012, he was Police Chief for the city of Truth or Consequences until he began working for the Santa Fe Police Department as their Professional Standards Captain. He was then asked to serve as Santa Fe Police Chief, a position he held for over 2 years before being selected as Las Cruces Police Chief.
Chief Gallagher is married to Lynn Gallagher who is the Quality of Life Director for the City of Las Cruces, and has a son, James, who currently resides in Florida.