Officer Leticia Ferran
By: Candace Hopkins
SANTA FE, N.M.- She’s a newly-graduated New Mexico State Police officer, a mother to a special-needs child and a survivor. In this NMSP Spotlight article, we introduce you to Officer Leticia Ferran.
Like many children, Officer Ferran says growing up she always knew she wanted to be a police officer, but a life-altering event transformed that dream into sheer determination to join the New Mexico State Police specifically. At just 11 years old, Officer Ferran not only survived a kidnapping attempt but also had the courage to lead her younger siblings to safety.
She was getting off the bus at her rural home near Espanola when a neighbor tried to pull her into a vehicle. She fought back and escaped. While many children would have understandably been paralyzed by fear, Officer Ferran pulled herself together and led her three younger siblings safely home, all while the neighbor continued following them. She says what happened next changed the trajectory of her life.
Candace Hopkins: Officer Ferran, you have said not only did the kidnapping attempt change your life, but the New Mexico State Police response to the crime had a major impact on you, as well. How?
Officer Ferran: “I went in and we told my mom what happened. I was crying, I was scared, obviously, that was very traumatic to me. And I remember that she called the police, and the New Mexico State Police was the responding agency. For years the neighbor had harassed us, and nothing would get done from other agencies and I remember NMSP came, and they took him. They took him that day and we didn’t see him for years. From that day, I knew I wanted to be a New Mexico State Police officer, because they saved my family and myself.”
Hopkins: The event not only made a difference in your career path, but you say it also changed you as a person. How?
Officer Ferran: “I feel that it definitely made me a leader. As the oldest sibling I already felt like a leader, but it made me even more protective of my siblings. I want to protect all children, because they really have my heart.”
Hopkins: Your own child, a 5-year-old daughter, has special needs. During a typical academy an NMSP recruit would spend 22 weeks living in Santa Fe, with some breaks to visit family. Due to COVID restrictions your recruit class had to quarantine together and spent 14 straight weeks at the academy with no family visits. How did you manage being away from your daughter during that time and what advice would you give to other parents considering joining NMSP?
Officer Ferran: “I think for any parent, dad or mom, I would say think of your children. I would tell any other parent to do it for your kids. I knew I was doing it for her, I knew I was doing it for myself and for my whole family and everyone that I get to help one day. So, I held onto that. NMSP is not an easy agency to get into and it’s even harder to get through the academy but you can do it if you set your mind to it and the result is a rewarding career.”
Hopkins: Law enforcement is currently a male-dominated field but there is no doubt that female officers can bring unique backgrounds and skill sets, like critical communication skills, to the table. You are a great example of this. What would you tell other women who are interested in law enforcement but are not sure if they have what it takes physically or mentally to be a New Mexico state police officer?
Officer Ferran: “I would tell other women to do it. It’s not going to be easy. But it will be worth it. New Mexico State Police has a physical standard that you’re required to pass to get in, however, that’s not what will keep you there. You have to have a strong mindset to be mentally prepared for the academy and I feel like that’s what will definitely keep you there. There was not one day when I was in there that I didn’t think of going home, but I thought to myself, that’s the easy way out. I can go, I can go right now but what good would that do me and my goal? I had a dream and I just held onto that dream. If I can do it, other women can, too.”
Hopkins: Before joining NMSP you worked with people experiencing addiction issues in Espanola. How do you think that foundation has prepared you to be a better police officer?
Officer Ferran: “Being from Northern New Mexico and working in Espanola, it’s different than being an outsider looking in. I feel like being from here and my prior work experience is benefitting me in this career. So far, I’ve dealt with several people and I feel like I can relate to them with compassion because of the training I got in the New Mexico State Police academy and my previous job. I feel like I can provide resources and I can’t relate them as far as doing drugs, but I can relate to the situation because I’ve worked with them for so long, I know their thoughts, I understand their needs, I understand the desperation.”
Hopkins: You’re still training now but what are you most excited for upon entering the field on your own as a new officer?
Officer Ferran: “I’m excited to work with kids. I just want to inspire children. I want them to know that law enforcement is on their side, especially in Espanola. My goal is to influence kids in a positive way and show them that law enforcement is here for them.”
Officer Ferran graduated with the 97th Recruit Class in November 2020. She is currently stationed in District 1, Santa Fe and is in the first course of her 14 week Field Officer Training (FTO), where she is partnered up with several NMSP Officers. She is looking forward to completing FTO and serving the District 1 community.