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Donations support police retention, recruitment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Did you ever want to help fight crime without having to sign up for the police academy yourself?

The city of Albuquerque is giving citizens a new option, saying a donation to its recently created foundation will support municipal government endeavors like police retention and recruitment.

The city estimates the One Albuquerque Foundation/City of Albuquerque Foundation could bring in $400,000 annually, according to spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn. The city says it intends to apply donations not just toward first responder recruitment, but also homelessness reduction efforts, youth programming and workforce development.

“Every day, people in Albuquerque ask how they can step up and be part of addressing our city’s greatest challenges,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement.

The city is already operating the One Albuquerque Housing Fund, collecting donations for services such as housing vouchers and rental assistance. It raised about $17,600 over eight months, and city signs recently installed at busy Albuquerque intersections encourage citizens to visit that fund’s website to contribute.

Damazyn said the One Albuquerque Housing Fund – administered by the city as an “agency fund” – remains open to accept donations.

The new foundation is a 509(a)(3) supporting organization.

What’s that? Let the Internal Revenue Service explain: “A supporting organization is a charity that carries out its exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations, usually other public charities,” the IRS website says. “This classification is important because it is one means by which a charity can avoid classification as a private foundation, a status that is subject to a more restrictive regulatory regime.”

The new foundation has no designated staff, but its board – the president is Charles Ashley III of Cultivating Coders – has approved a contract for fundraising and will make any necessary staffing decisions, according to Damazyn.

The city says the foundation will comply with the Inspection of Public Records Act, New Mexico’s sunshine law. Some local foundations that exist solely to support public entities do not adhered to IPRA; notably, the University of New Mexico Foundation has fought in court to keep records concealed.

Asked if the city’s IPRA adherence was a matter of formal documentation or an executive decision, Damazyn said in an email it “will comply with IPRA at the direction of Mayor Keller.”

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DEAL DETAILS: The Albuquerque City Council last week green-lit an economic incentive package for the local expansion of Nypro Healthcare Baja Inc., a medical device manufacturer owned by Jabil.

The package includes $36 million in industrial revenue bonds to purchase new equipment – which the company must repay but which provide certain tax breaks – and $250,000 in city Local Economic Development Act funding. The state also plans to provide $750,000 in LEDA money.

According to city documents, the investments will help create 120 new jobs by the end of 2026, and about 80-85% are expected to be filled by locals.

The company says about 70 of the jobs will be in production and have an average starting salary of “more than $40,000.” The rest will pay an average of $92,000, including benefits.

The manufactured products include “implantable devices,” and the Albuquerque facility will also “package and sterilize” the products, according to its application.

The company already has 364 employees in Albuquerque.

If it does not maintain at least 436 employees in the three years following its planned hiring surge, it could have to pay back any tax breaks and some of its LEDA money.

Jessica Dyer:

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