NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Law enforcement in the state is working hard to retain and recruit new officers but says they need help from the legislature. “..Became quite clear there is not one silver bullet to deal with addressing these recruitment and retention issues,” says Deputy Chief Troy Weisler from New Mexico State Police.

Members of a law enforcement task force presented their suggestions to lawmakers as they put together bills for the upcoming session. They say the number one issue was the cost of retiree healthcare. In most cases, it more than doubles once a person retires. The task force is recommending that the state pays for it for so many years.

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Another big issue in getting people from out of state to come here. They want to allow them to buy up to five years of retirement from their pension in another state.

They also want to fine-tune the return-to-work policies for people who double dip. “Return to work brought up at length rural area has [the] greatest impact on many rural communities have the most difficulty maintaining staffing,” says Weisler. “There’s the most difficulty getting qualified and highly-trained personnel.”

In some places like APD, double-dippers can only return in entry-level positions in order to not keep younger officers from promoting. But in rural counties, they say they need that leadership in administration and other specialty roles. The rules are governed by the legislature.