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APD attributes growing recruitment numbers to pay incentives

 Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina (right) and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (left) discuss the new recruitment numbers
Gino Gutierrez
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina (right) and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (left) discuss the new recruitment numbers

The Albuquerque Police Department has cited new pay incentives resulting in more people applying to be officers, the retention of more officers and more lateral transfers.

APD implemented pay increases of 37% for cadets and 31% for patrolemen 2nd class.

They also invested money towards the retention of officers, with those deciding not to retire receiving an additional $1,500 at the end of each month and 10% of their medical expenses paid for by the city.

The department is also graduating a class of 28 new officers in June and there are 90 individuals who are being considered for the next class that starts in July.

There is also a class of 14 lateral officers who are leaving other agencies that will start a condensed academy later this month, which is the largest number the department has seen in four years.

These officers are coming from other departments, sheriff’s offices and even the FBI according to Chief Harold Medina.

Police and city officials attributed this increase to the higher pay and also a higher compliance rate with the department’s Department of Justice agreement.

Medina said these developments have led to more interest in joining the department.

“We’re hoping that all of these things are going to continue to work hand-in-hand with one another and that our officers will continue to feel invested and important and that morale will continue to move in the right direction.”

The Police Service Aides were also touched on by Medina, who said the department continues to invest in growing their role within the community.

Currently, APD has 47 PSAs, which is the highest number they’ve ever employed.

90% of these PSAs will go on to become officers according to Medina, which is another area they are taking advantage of in their efforts to grow the department.

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, he found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in multimedia journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. In addition to working at KSFR, Gino is a freelance photojournalist and can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the NA3HL New Mexico Ice Wolves.