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Portales police fully staffed following turmoil

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — The once scandal-plagued Portales Police Department is now fully staffed.

The Portales News-Tribune reports that Portales police recently became fully staffed with 24 officers following months of having open positions. Six months ago, the department had more non-certified officers than certified.

New Portales Police Chief Pat Gallegos says attributes the jump in staffing to the pay scale. The salary increases ranged from 11-to 29 percent, and the department offered incentives to new officers.

Before Gallegos took over, at least eight Portales officer in the span of 18 months were accused of misconduct, convicted of felony crimes or had left the department under questionable circumstances.

Gallegos said he’s doing strict background checks of his new hires and calling their previous employers to get their history.