Valencia County

Valencia County was established by Mexico in 1844 and was confirmed as part of the New Mexico Territory in 1852.

The county, which was formerly much larger in area, lost almost 81% of its territory on June 19, 1981, upon the creation of Cibola County, which occupies the western most portion of Valencia County’s former area. Although Los Lunas is the county seat, Belen is the largest town. The population in the county is approximately 75,626 covering a total area of 1,068 square miles. It is the second smallest county in New Mexico by area.

The county claims a few national protected areas with part of the Cibola National Forest, the El Comino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, and the Manzano Wilderness. Between mountains and mesas are the southward flowing Rio Puerco and the Rio Grande. Pueblo Indians settled in the Rio Grande valley about 1500 and created productive farmland with irrigation. The Isleta Pueblo Indian Reservation is in the northern part of the county. Though agriculture (cattle, milk) persists there, construction, healthcare, the Santa Fe railroad yards of Belen, and government employment are among the leading elements in the economy.

Valencia County has the longest record for predicting presidential election winners in the entire country, voting for the winning candidate in every election since 1952.

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

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