City sets $10K signing bonus for police cadets - Albuquerque Journal

City sets $10K signing bonus for police cadets

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

City officials are trying to sweeten the pot for those considering a career with the Albuquerque Police Department.

The city announced Wednesday that it is bumping the signing bonuses for new police cadets to $10,000, up from $5,000.

The bonuses are an attempt to grow the size of the police force, which for years has struggled to stay fully staffed. The department had 945 sworn officers on Wednesday, said Rebecca Atkins, a police spokeswoman.

Mayor Tim Keller at one point set a goal to increase the department to 1,200 officers by the end of his first four years in office.

In August, the city announced lateral officers – certified law enforcement officers who transfer to APD from other departments – will receive $15,000 in total bonuses. Those officers will receive $5,000 when they’re hired, $5,000 when they complete their fourth week in the academy, and the rest after a one-year probationary period.

Albuquerque police officers starting pay is $29 per hour, but with overtime some officers make more than $100,000. Police account for 160 of the 250 highest paid city employees, according to the city’s website.

The city also announced Wednesday that emergency dispatchers and telecommunication operators will get $1,500 signing bonuses.

“We continue to be competitive as we incentivize bringing more officers to the department,” Police Chief Harold Medina said in a prepared statement. “Public safety is of top priority and the city is making strong investments to bring the best and most qualified individuals to APD and fight crime.”

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