Albuquerque police officers could be getting a raise later this summer after officers overwhelming voted in support of a new contract with the city.
Shaun Willoughby, the president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, said the contract will help the city keep officers on the force and recruit lateral hires from around the country.
“It creates more of a career path for officers,” he said.
On Monday, 501 officers voted in favor of the contract and 40 voted against it.
The raises will go in effect the first pay period in August, Willoughby said.
The pay rate for officers with zero to four years of experience will go from $28 to $29 an hour, officers with four to 14 years of experience will get $30 an hour, and officers with 15 years of more will make $31.50, he said. The rate for sergeants will go from $32 to $35 an hour, and lieutenants will make $40 an hour, up from $36.70.
Additionally, the new contract calls for officers next year to start collecting longevity pay bonuses based on their experience. Those bonuses will range from $100 to $600 every pay period, starting when an officer gets five years of experience, he said.
Those pay increases will amount to about $12 million over the next two years, according to an APOA news release.
Those bonuses should help recruit experienced officers from around the country, Willoughby said, because the bonuses will include police work at other law enforcement agencies.
“We’re hoping the contracts makes the city more competitive,” he said. “It’s an aggressive step in the right direction.”
The Albuquerque Police Department has a force of about 850 officers. But the city’s budget authorizes the department to have more than 1,000, and Mayor Tim Keller has said he wants to grow the force by 400 officers over the next four years.
The Mayor’s Office said the contract is now waiting for City Council approval.
“This agreement gets us one step closer to addressing the public safety challenges our city is facing head on,” Keller said in a prepared statement. “We were at a competitive disadvantage with our neighboring cities for recruitment efforts. These compensation adjustments will level the playing field so we can attract and retain qualified officers.”