ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department is now offering new incentives to recruit more officers.
The department is down 122 officers, and a signing bonus wasn’t quite doing the trick. On Monday, the chief and the mayor announced even more ideas to convince people to join the force.
“We want to make sure that we’re recruiting quality, not just quantity, we want to make sure that our cadets coming into the academies are of the highest caliber,” explained Albuquerque Mayor, R.J. Berry.
APD is offering a $5,000 hiring bonus. They will now allow any government worker with five years experience to apply, along with veterans with at least two years of military service.
They’re also offering a military certification by waiver for any candidate who has served for two years as a military police officer with honorable discharge.
One of the biggest changes includes a lower college credit requirement. Applicants can now earn 28 college credit hours by finishing the police academy.
APD will also help pay for officers to finish their associate’s degree, as long as it’s done within three years of graduating from the police academy.
Previously, the department required candidates to have 60 college credit hours. However, APD Chief Gorden Eden said at Monday’s press conference that research showed the department was missing out on some exceptional candidates.
“These are people who have proven to us and to the community that they have great work history, but may not have been in a position to go to college,” Chief Eden said.
The chief said they’re also boosting their social media presence to try and recruit the younger demographic.