ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department is offering its biggest hiring bonus yet, hoping to snare some experienced officers from other departments. Fifteen thousand dollars is now available for police officers who make the move to join APD’s ranks.
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“We’re hoping that we can stay competitive with other agencies across the state with this push to hire laterals. It’s a good push for us because it’s a shorter academy and we get trained, seasoned individuals to come to the ranks in the department,” said APD Chief Harold Medina.
Medina says in 2018, a similar hiring packed helped APD hire 60 lateral officers within a year but that number has tapered off. Medina says $15,000 is in response to the Santa Fe Police Department offering a similar bonus and this is the largest hiring incentive APD has ever offered.
Medina says hiring lateral officers is important right now because their academy is shorter, letting them get out in the field faster and their experience will help combat the high number of officers retiring or leaving.
“Normally… but the month of July 2021 has been really concerning for us because we have seen quite a number of retirements but we’re also seeing individuals that are just leaving the profession of law enforcement,” Medina said.
Medina says over the last year, 60 officers have retired from APD. As part of the hiring package, brand new cadets get a $5,000 hiring bonus and police service aides get $1,500. APD says hiring bonuses will be paid out in increments. APD says lateral officers will receive $5,000 upon being hired, another $5,000 upon completion of their fourth week in the academy, and the final installment after the officer completes a one-year probationary period.
Medina says an influx of police service aides will help officers focus on high-priority calls while they continue working on growing the department. Right now, APD has about 940 officers. The mayor’s goal is to get 1,100. For more information, visit cabq.gov/humanresources/city-employment-opportunities/work-for-the-city-you-love.