SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was something Mayor Berry pushed for: driving up the number of officers on the streets by getting them to go back to work post-retirement. Now one lawmaker wants to do the same statewide.
House Bill 137 would allow police officers across New Mexico to retire, then go back to work while still contributing to their PERA retirement. Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo) says it’s a way to help tackle the crime problem in New Mexico.
In her proposal, retired officers would only be allowed to return to the force for five years. During those five years, they cannot pull from their retirement fund.
Former Mayor Richard J. Berry supported a similar idea for the city of Albuquerque in order to boost the number of cops on the streets.
“We’ve got a pool then of police and experienced law enforcement officers that can go to work in the smaller communities if that’s what they want to do, or in Albuquerque. But why not capture the experience level and the investment that we have in these men and women?” Herrell said.
It’s something Gov. Martinez would likely sign off on, as she mentioned the need to attract and retain police officers in New Mexico during her State of the State address Tuesday.
A bill similar to this one has been introduced in the past, but did not get to the governor’s desk.
Rep. Herrell is hopeful this time around, there will be bi-partisan support given the climate of crime in New Mexico.
Correction: In the video we showed that Rep. Yvette Herrell from Alamogordo was a Democrat which is false. Herrell is a Republican.