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APD Announces new Retention Package and Provides Recruitment Update

The Albuquerque Police Department announced a new retention package to encourage officers to stay with the department past 19 years, and provided a recruitment update.

Fri. October 7, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department announced a new retention package to encourage officers to stay with the department past 19 years, and provided a recruitment update.

In the last few years, law enforcement across the country has faced challenges in regards to recruitment and retention. Although APD has met its goal to hire 100 new officers each year, the struggles to retain officers has not allowed the department to bolster its overall numbers of officers working in the field.

As an incentive to encourage officers to stay with the department longer, Chief Medina signed a new initiative for officers with 19 years of PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association) service credit. Officers who meet the qualifications will receive an additional $1,500 dollars at the end of each month and 100% of their medical will be paid for by the city.

“Although we are meeting our goals to hire new officers, we have faced retention challenges and are finding innovative ways to incentivize staying longer,” said Chief Harold Medina. “As we have reset our goals, we know we will not hit 1,200 officers any time soon, but we are making the necessary changes to include boosting our PSA and Professional Staff workforce that support our officers in the field on a daily basis.”

The department currently has the highest number of Police Service Aides ever hired at APD. For the first time, the Recruiting Unit is actively recruiting individuals to become PSAs as they are building a pipeline of future officers. Police Service Aides assist officers in the field with traffic accidents, misdemeanor offenses, delivery of paperwork, parking enforcement along with many other duties and responsibilities.

“Recruitment and retention have been a major challenge across the country and Albuquerque is no exception. While we have met our goal of hiring 100 officers every year, we are not keeping up with the number of officers retiring,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “That’s why we are looking at innovative solutions like switching some duties to professional staff and investing millions in crime fighting technology.”

APD has also seen an increase in retired officers coming back to APD whether that be through the city or on contract. In total, APD has close to 100 personnel that retired at one point and are now back at the department. APD has also embraced assistance in the field from the Albuquerque Community Safety Department. Since ACS’s induction a year ago, ACS responders have taken 9,425 non-emergency calls that would have gone to APD.

“Police have been asked to be everything to everyone all the time; not anymore. In our first year of operations, ACS has diverted 3% and over 9k of APD’s 911 calls, acting as a resource for officers in the field and allowing them to focus on addressing violent crime,” said Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Director of Community Safety.

The city has also initiated a finder’s fee for city employees to continue incentivizing recruiting new officers. If a city employee assists in the hiring of police officer or PSAs, the finder’s fees are as follows:

  • Police Cadets $2,500
  • Lateral Officers $2,500
  • Public Service Aides are $1,000

APD’s hiring bonuses remain in effect and have been extended through January 6, 2023.

  • Police Cadets: $10,000
  • Lateral Officers: $15,000
  • Police Service Aides: $1,500

Anyone interested at working for APD can apply at apdonline.com.