Otero County

Otero County was the nineteenth of the thirty-three counties to be created. Established in 1899, the county was created from parts of Doña Ana, Lincoln, and Socorro Counties. 

It was named for Miguel Antonio Otero, territorial governor at the time of its creation.  At 6,627 square miles, it is the third largest county in New Mexico and thirty-fifth largest in the United States.  Only 10% of the land area is privately owned; the Federal government, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and the State Land Office own the rest of the land. 

Two of the U.S. Army’s largest bases, Fort Bliss and the White Sands Missile Range, are located here.  Because of the Army’s work with rocketry here, the New Mexico Space Museum is located in the county seat of Alamogordo. In 1933, President Hoover created the White Sands National Monument, west of Alamogordo, to protect the gypsum sand dunes.  The southernmost ski area in the United States is at Cloudcroft.  Notable citizens of Otero County include astronomer Alan Hale; U.S. Senator Albert Fall; Governor Edwin Mechem, physicist Edward Condon, and actress Kim Stanley.

Upcoming Events

16 Hour Verbal De-Escalation @ Taos County Admin. Complex, County Commission Chambers
Jun 21 @ 8:00 am – Jun 22 @ 5:00 pm


This 16-hour training teaches students verbal de-escalation skills that apply psychology to aid a highly agitated person in bringing their emotions under control. This training is intended for Detention Staff and Sheriff’s Deputies. 16 Hr De-Escalation Albuq (PDF)

Course is free to NMC Law Enforcement Insurance Pool Members.  Non-members can inquire about attending (pending availability) for a fee.

Suicide Prevention – 12 Hour Training @ Curry County
Jul 18 @ 8:00 am – Jul 19 @ 12:00 pm



This 12-hour course provides fact and fiction about detainee suicides, identifies the obstacles to suicide prevention, understanding key detainee research, risk and precipitating factors, the eight essential components of suicide prevention, the guiding principles of suicide prevention, and discusses “negligence” and “deliberate indifference” in detainee suicide liability.  This course is intended for those working in Detention.


The course is free to NMC Law Enforcement Insurance Pool members.  Non-pool members may inquire about attending (based on availability) for a fee.

Employment Opportunities