ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - It's not exactly a great advertisement for a city. A very uninviting sign now sits at an entrance to Roswell, and it was put there by police officers.
The police union is making a bold statement as it looks for a pay hike, and this comes just days before the mayoral race.
On the corner of Eighth Street and Sycamore in Roswell stands the new sign, and it's getting a lot of looks.
“It makes you feel bad, it made me feel bad,” said April Ibarra, Roswell resident.
“I think that's an abomination to put up something like that,” said Florence Carr, Roswell resident.
The sign reads, "This city does not support public safety. Enter at your own risk." It was put up on Friday by members of the Roswell Police Officers Association.
"The problem is financing funding wise. The city council controls all of that so we don't really have a lot of room in our budget for extra training or extra equipment,” said RPOA President Donald O’Connor.
Union officials say the city is driving away officers because of low pay, and now they're urging the community to get involved.
“We have officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's just difficult when you have officers that are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” O’Connor said.
Yet, some people say the message doesn't come across that way.
“It upset me in a few different ways just because I don't feel that way. I feel safe here, I don't feel like I’m ever in any danger and I feel like the sign instills automatic fear into people when they read it,” said David Ibarra, Roswell resident.
“I really am distressed about it because I think that to compare us to Albuquerque is ridiculous to begin with, because I’ve lived there,” Carr said.
However, there were some who got the message loud and clear.
“I support the police 100 percent. They have a hard job to do. They are undermanned, understaffed,” said Anna Pozzi, Roswell resident.
City officials issued a statement on Facebook, saying they're confused with the allegations and position of the police union, saying they increased police pay in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Click here for the full statement.
The city says the homicide rate dropped 60 percent in 2017.