SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A big subject of discussion in this legislative session is the police officer shortage in the state. Now, five lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pushing for bonuses to persuade officers to stay on the job. Representative Natalie Figueroa says recruiting and training new officers isn’t the only solution to the police officer shortage.

“They’re doing some incredibly hard work and we lose a lot of them between the second and seventh year,” Rep. Figueroa (D-District 30) said.

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Now, she, along with four other lawmakers are introducing House Bill 86. Under the bipartisan proposal, officers in New Mexico would get a retention bonus of 5% of their current salary every five years they’re still in law enforcement. “We need to keep these officers on the job. It’s much more efficient to keep an officer than it is to recruit and train a new one,” Rep. Figueroa said.

The governor is also pushing to raise pay for New Mexico State Police officers by 19% this session. Right now, NMSP is short 92 officers. She also wants to start a fund with $100 million in it to help departments across the state hire and retain officers. Senator George Munoz is also introducing a bill that would give a million dollars in supplemental death benefits to families of officers killed in the line of duty.