Crime Rate, Office Deaths Help Send N.M. to Bottom of List of Places to be a Cop
Surprise! N.M. Hits Another ‘Worst of’ List
If you want to be a police officer, you probably shouldn’t come to New Mexico.
That’s the conclusion of WalletHub, which says that New Mexico is the fourth worst place in the nation in which to be a cop.
The personal finance web site, which ranks just about everything, rated states and the District of Columbia on 20 indicators of police work, including median income, violent crime rate and police deaths.
While New Mexico had the second-best ranking when it came to the number of cops per resident, it fell down in other areas.
Among the states, New Mexico had the third-worst violent crime rate, the second-worst property crime rate and the fifth worst rate of police officer deaths per 1,000 residents.
Shawn Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, said he agreed with WalletHub’s findings, especially when it came to the Albuquerque Police Department.
“When you look at the whole picture for the past eight years [in Albuquerque], the first order of Mayor Richard Berry was to reduce pay, violate our contract, disrespect the profession, take away retention bonuses and decimate the police department by 250 officers,” Willoughby said. “And the city council has watched this police department fall through the cracks.”
APD has faced a chronic officer shortage for years. The department is budgeted for 1,000 officers, but currently has about 840. And while the department continues to graduate a high number of cadets from its training academy, it has been losing about the same number of officers each year through retirements and other departures.
According to WalletHub, the best place to be a cop is North Dakota, and the worst is Louisiana.
Photo: Jon Collier
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