It’s encouraging to see that the Albuquerque Police Department just graduated its largest cadet class in at least a decade, and that it was able to add 30 new officers to APD’s short-handed ranks. If that success continues, the department has a shot at eventually reaching its allotted 1,000-officer force.
At the end of December, APD had 846 sworn officers. A year earlier, it had 832.
In all of 2016, 93 cadets graduated from the APD Police Academy, and APD was able to hire many of them. That total is nearly three times the number of cadets who graduated in 2015, and close to double the number that graduated in 2014.
The year-end number of officers is impressive in light of the difficulties the department has faced as it seeks to emerge from a Department of Justice probe that found APD had developed a culture of aggression that led to a spate of officer-involved shootings. Despite the difficulties, which likely have led to some potential candidates rethinking a career in law enforcement, APD is succeeding in attracting, and graduating, more cadets.
Police Chief Gorden Eden, who told the new cadets last week to reach out to their leaders if they ever begin to question their “passion and compassion” for police work, is to be commended for his efforts to revamp the training curricula and recruit more committed cadets.
Like many police departments nationwide, APD has had trouble filling its ranks for quite some time, in part because of a high number of retirements that, fortunately, appears to be leveling off.
Having more uniformed officers patrolling our streets is a good thing. APD’s Cadet Class No. 116 just added 30 more.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.