Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has claimed that police departments all over the state are having problems recruiting and retaining police officers.
BY RENE THOMPSON
The New Mexico State Police will graduate 36 new recruits today, bringing the second largest police force in New Mexico to 100 percent of its budgeted staffing level.
The department is budgeted for 678 officers and it currently has 642 officers employed. The department put out a call for new recruits in April because the usual 1,000 applicants had dwindled to only 300 last year.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas blamed the shortage on the way the public views police forces on a nationwide level and explains it’s difficult to recruit people to a profession under fire.
The Santa Fe Police Department is running at 90 percent, while Albuquerque Police department is still running around 85 percent.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has claimed that police departments all over the state are having problems recruiting and retaining police officers, but an ABQ Free Press survey in October showed that wasn’t the case.
The paper surveyed of 29 sheriff’s and 30 municipal police departments and found that collectively, they were staffed at more than 90 percent of their budgeted manpower. APD appears to be the only department in the state that has problems in recruiting and retaining police officers.