After a nationwide search, Joseph Silva has been selected to be UNM’s Chief of Police, effective November 1, 2021.
“At a time when the nature and face of law enforcement is under pressure to improve and progress, we are thrilled to welcome a new leader who is committed to strengthening the safety and security efforts both at UNM and within our ever-changing multicultural community,” said Teresa Costantinidis, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration. “With his seven years at UNM, combined with decades of previous law enforcement experience, I am confident he will successfully lead campus security efforts while following our philosophy of community-oriented policing.
"I extend my deepest gratitude to the search committee for their exhaustive efforts. We were thrilled with the caliber of the candidate pool and are exceedingly pleased to have found the outstanding talent we sought in Joseph Silva.”
Silva has served in the role of UNM’s interim police chief since July 2020. He is a native New Mexican, has been with UNMPD since 2014 when he started as a commander. In that role, and his subsequent position as interim chief, he has worked to develop a culture of community policing and has focused his efforts on building trust in the department.
“Policing has changed in my nearly 40 years in law enforcement. With increased tensions between the police and the public across our country, it is more important than ever to build mutual understanding and explore solutions together with a shared goal of having a safe and healthy campus environment. To help restore, build and maintain relationships, I will continue to focus on listening to our community to better understand the needs of those we serve and move forward together as Lobos,” said Silva.
“Joseph has the skill and the passion to continue guiding the law enforcement efforts for UNM. In his time as Interim Police Chief, he has earned the respect of the campus community and UNM leadership,” said Assistant Vice President of Campus Environments & Facilities Lisa Marbury, who chaired the search committee.
Silva is planning to host a series of Talking Circles across campus beginning in November and continuing through winter break. The informal meetings will allow members of the UNM community to share their concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback directly to UNMPD leadership.
“I am honored and humbled by my selection as the next police chief for UNM,” said Silva. “This is a vital time to lead the UNMPD in protecting and serving our community.”
Before joining UNMPD, Silva served 22 years with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). He was Deputy Chief of Police when he retired from APD. He then went on to work with the United States Department of Homeland Security, Souder Betances & Associates, and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
Silva holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services and Management from Wayland Baptist University and holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Saint Norbert College.