ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of their recruitment efforts had to be shelved for now but the Albuquerque Police Department wants the public to know it is still hiring, and still desperately needs officers.
The stay-at-home order is slowing APD’s recruiting efforts, which usually has officers going out and mingling with the community, so the department is taking on a new approach.
“In this time of uncertainty, it is within you and all people to make things better,” APD Chief Mike Geier says during a recruiting video posted online. “You have the power to create happiness. This is the time for all generations to unite as a community,” Chief Geier himself is calling on people to apply to APD.
Recruiting Officer Michelle English said the department currently has about 1,000 officers on staff and still needs hundreds.
Mayor Keller initially set a goal of 1,200 officers on staff by December and the department is still working toward that number.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, APD had plans to recruit during New Mexico United games and sporting events. They also had trips planned to neighboring states like Arizona, Texas and Colorado.
Since that can’t happen, they’re reaching out in other ways.
“We’re trying to get people through social media. We’re doing a lot of telephone contacts, just calling people one-by-one,” Officer English said
The department has ramped up its social media presence, trying to reach people through Facebook, Instagram, television and radio ads.
APD also sent out 210,000 flyers that Albuquerque residents will notice when they receive their water bills in the mail.
At a time when unemployment is rising, APD is hopeful that those who may have not considered a career in law enforcement, might now.
“We have incredible health insurance and that’s why a lot of people look for good jobs,” said English. “We start at $19.35 an hour, but incredible health insurance, which is what everyone needs today,” she added.
Minimum requirements for APD include U.S. citizenship, at least 21-years-old by the time of graduation, a valid New Mexico driver’s license, and a high school diploma or GED.
APD is currently limiting interaction in its academy. “The academy gym is closed to everybody except the cadets, so we’ve really tried to isolate them and make sure that they’re healthy, and when they graduate, they’re ready to go out in the field,” said Officer English.
While APD remains short-staffed, at least some of the city’s criminals seem to be behaving themselves during this stay-at-home order.
The number of arrests over the past week was 310. That’s down almost 40% from a corresponding week in March last year.
Anyone interested in applying can go to APDonline.com or call 505-343-5040.
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