SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — He is in uniform and apparently on duty. But New Mexico State Police said the officer caught on camera having sex with a woman on the hood of a car did not commit a crime.
Security camera photographs of the encounter at the remote county-owned Canyon Ranch near Santa Fe surfaced several weeks ago.
The images initially were sent to state police by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department, and an internal investigation was started.
State police spokesman Tim Johnson said the investigation has been completed and the case is in the disciplinary process.
He said investigators don't think any criminal acts occurred but that the officer will be held accountable for his actions.
"The New Mexico State Police is very embarrassed by this incident and will work tirelessly to restore our good name and earn the trust of the citizens back," he said in a statement sent Thursday to the Associated Press.
"This officer made a horrible personal decision that will obviously reflect poorly on the whole organization."
Mr. Johnson declined to release the name of the officer, but KQRE-TV reported that he is an eight-year veteran of the department who is on administrative leave.
The Albuquerque television station also reported that he was state police officer of the year in the Santa Fe district in 2010.
Mr. Johnson declined to provide any details about the officer, including his accolades or whether he is married.
The department also has refused to release the identity of the woman in the video and details about her relationship with the officer.
While the case is a black eye for the department, Mr. Johnson said, he wanted the public to remember that hundreds of state police officers go to work "every single day and make sound decisions to protect and serve their communities."