(Los Lunas Police Chief Naithan Gurule has been with the department for 17 years. He was named chief in 2014.
As a lieutenant in 2012, Gurule completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Police Academy.
In 2013, he graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, a 10-week course to prepare mid- and upper-level supervisory personnel for senior positions
Last year, the chief received a “40 Under 40” award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
He lives in Los Lunas with his wife, Carolina; daughters, Emma, 17, and Ella, 7; and sons, Naithan, 15, Noah, 13, Nava, 11 and Emmett, 5.)
Q What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
A “Sleep. I don’t get much of it between work and having a large family involved in sports.”
Q What was the last gift you gave someone?
A “Money to my daughter, Emma, for her 17th birthday.”
Q What were you like in high school?
A “I really enjoyed going to class, and playing football and baseball. My wife says I wasn’t as cool as I tell our kids I was.”
Q What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
A “I get up every day with two of my sons to go to the gym at 5 a.m. About half way through my workout, I realized that I had my shirt on inside-out.”
Q What did you want to be when you grew up?
A “I always wanted to be a police officer.”
Q Who inspires you?
A “My oldest son, Naithan. He is 15 and I see his discipline, work ethic and energy towards everything he does, and it inspires me to push myself.”
Q What is your birth order in your family, and do you think it influences who you are?
A “I am the oldest of three boys, and I think being the oldest made me more responsible.”
Q What do you do in your free time?
A “In my free time I am either at the gym with my boys or at either wrestling practice, wrestling camps or at wrestling tournaments. Five of my six kids wrestle so we stay busy with that.”
Q What’s the most interesting thing about you?
A “I have six kids — Emma, 17; Naithan, 15; Noah, 13; Nava, 11; Ella, 7; and Emmett, 5.
Q If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A “If I were an animal, I would say that I would be a lion, protecting my family and those around me.”
Q You find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
A “I would take care of my immediate and extended family, and donate to the San Clemente Catholic Church.”
Q Who is your best friend and why?
A “My wife, Carolina, is my best friend. We met in high school. She is two years younger than I am. She graduated in May of 2001 and we got married in December of 2001.”
Q What’s your favorite song to sing when you’re alone?
A “My favorite song right now is “One Man Band” by Old Dominion.”
Q Where is your happy place, and why?
A “My happy place is at home, with my wife and kids. When we’re home and together, I know everyone is safe.”
Q Have you had a life-changing experience that led you to where you are today?
A “When I started with the Los Lunas Police Department, my pay was $8.60 an hour. My wife and I started having kids, and we didn’t have much money.
“We were fortunate that my in-laws, Jesus and Joyce Sedillos, helped us by allowing us to move onto their property in Pueblitos, and my mother-in-law would bring us groceries about every two weeks, sometimes more often than that.
“This experience, I think drove me to go back to school. I wanted to be able to take care of my family. Eventually, I was able to obtain my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice.”
Q What teacher had the greatest impact on you?
A “I had several teachers and coaches here that made an impact in my life. It’s difficult to identify just one. I am thankful to all of them who guided me and pushed me to be better.”
Q If you could live in any other time, when might that be and why?
A “If I could live in any other time, it would be in the 1930s and 1940s. My grandfather, Felix Gurule, would tell me stories about the large amount of land my great-grandfather, Francisco Gurule, owned and farmed.
“My understanding is when my great-grandfather passed away, he left the land to all his kids who eventually sold it all. He would describe what they would farm and how he would ride his horse everywhere. That always caught my attention.”
Q If you could have dinner with one famous person from history, who would it be?
A “United States Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. I read his book, ‘It Doesn’t Take a Hero,’ and he seemed like he had an interesting childhood and life of leadership.”
Q What are you most proud of?
A “I am most proud of my mom. She endured hardship and was still able to persevere by going back to school with the goal of a bachelor’s degree and ended up with a PhD from the University of Texas at El Paso.”
Q How would you like to be remembered?
A “I would like to be remembered as a great husband and father, and as someone who tried his best to help everyone he could.”