All R.J. has to do is give the cop on the beat the same retention bonus that he hands out to the highly paid members of APD’s command.
Columnist: Beat Cops Need Retention Bonuses, too.
BY DAN KLEIN
Albuquerque, you need to know that Richard Berry hates you.
R.J. must hate the cop on the beat because he has done everything to drive them off and now, when the city is crisis and he needs cops, he refuses to do the one thing that will keep them. And no, it’s not firing Chief Eden and the entire APD command staff, even though any mayor responsive to the populace would have done so already.
All R.J. has to do is give the cop on the beat the same retention bonus that he hands out to the highly paid members of APD’s command. It’s simple and it will work. The only reason I can think that R.J. will not do something this easy is that he hates you, me and his cops.
What else could it be? R.J. isn’t stupid. Our mayor knows when he took the retention bonus away from officers in 2011 more than 100 veteran cops immediately retired, and crime spiked.
And what about Chief Eden? Is he really the political misfit that he appears to be?
R.J. said he was the smartest man for the job, so why doesn’t Gordo, (can I call you Gordo?), publicly request that his beat cops be given the retention bonuses? I can only guess that Gordo hates you too, Burque.
What is the Veteran Officer Retention Bonus? It was a program started in 2008 that provided $12,000 each year beat cops remained working and didn’t retire. It was paid into a 401k plan, therefore the legislature didn’t have a say and they didn’t care.
Did it work? You bet your crime-weary ass it did. APD grew to 1,100 police officers and crime went down! Auditors said it stopped 129 officers from retiring. But when R.J. killed it, they quit and crime went up. You rock R.J.!
Gordo has no problem ignoring all rules and regulations when he hired his director of training. The fact that she was under Internal Affairs investigation by her old department didn’t matter to Gordo. Rules? Gordo don’t need no stinkin’ rules!
Recently, Gordo told the city council that APD is hiring a lot of brand new officers. But because the veteran officers are retiring in droves, Gordo’s department has only grown by a handful of officers when compared to this time last year.
Councilors asked “How can we help?” Gordo munching his mouth nervously, looked at Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry (who glared back), and said, “recruiting, it’s a problem everywhere.”
That’s B.S., but the council drank the lie like grape Kool-Aid at an afternoon picnic in Jonestown with Jim Jones. Is this city council incapable seeing through this mayor’s B.S.?
What if Gordo asked CEO Rob Perry for cop bonuses? Imagine this twist on Charlies Dickens “A Christmas Carol” story: Scrooge McPerry (who received a $45,000 pay raise) is counting his gold pieces and wretched Gordo comes begging, “Ummm, Mr. Perry can my cops have bonuses please?” To which Perry replies, “Gordie, was I talking to you? Now I lost count of my Albuquerque gold! Get out!”
I want Albuquerque to be a safe city again. To achieve that we need cops, a lot of them.
I asked APD how many officers have retired since 2014, the number is 133! If R.J. had given them a retention bonus most would have stayed on, and Albuquerque would be safer. With those officers APD would have around 950 officers, instead there are only 825 with more retirements on the horizon.
It’s clear R.J. and Gordo don’t give a tinker’s damn about keeping experienced APD officers.
By not caring about our veteran beat cops, they do give a crap about you either.
Dan Klein is a retired police sergeant. Reach him through Facebook.