HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) - Do you have what it takes to be a cop? A New Mexico city is ready to pay big bucks if you choose to live and work for them.
Hobbs police say with other police agencies and other industries competing for workers, it's the only way.
Competitive pay and up to $50,000 in housing assistance are a couple of incentives showcased in the latest Hobbs police recruiting commercial.
The spot runs statewide begging people to choose them for a law enforcement career.
"We have a limited pool of people of a town this size to pull from that want to be police officers and you know we are competing with other businesses," said Hobbs Police Information Officer Mike Stone.
Those other businesses are the oil and gas companies.
Hobbs police officials say they're having a difficult time matching the oil industry's high salaries.
They say they've turned to advertising to prove just how competitive their wages are.
"A non-certified, meaning those with no experience, will get $22.28 an hour," said Stone.
Starting pay for Hobbs police is almost $8 more than a State Police recruit, almost $6-dollars more than a Roswell police officer and $4 more than an Albuquerque police recruit.
But even with all of the ads and incentives, the Hobbs Police Department is still under capacity; a problem that remains for many departments around the state.
"New Mexico appears to be very unique when it comes to filling positions because there's a lot more competition it seems," said Stone. "A lot of other states, they're full, and in some states they're actually laying off police officers."
The Hobbs Police Department needs 90 officers to have a full staff. Right now they have 83 officers.
They're hoping this commercial will draw in the extra employees.
"Having seven more individuals out there to help share the load will enable us to do some proactive police work," said Stone.
According to the department, once a new recruit signs a 10-year contract and proves they're buying a house, the city of Hobbs will write a $50,000 check to the mortgage company
They will give $25,000 to those who've signed a five-year contract.
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