Council proposes more money for APD

Posted at: 08/11/2013 8:20 PM | Updated at: 08/11/2013 10:12 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Millions more dollars could be going to the Albuquerque Police Department for pay raises and retention bonuses.

On Sunday, Council President Dan Lewis, Councilor Isaac Benton and Councilor Don Harris announced legislation that would propose putting 2.4 million dollars a year toward raises and retention bonuses.

They say it is possible because of an increase in gross receipts taxes.

The Albuquerque Police Officer’s Association says it is necessary as APD’s severe officer shortage gets even worse.

A department that should have 1,100 officers only has 835, and there are 12 on the way out because, as veterans, they were able to buy out.

The APOA says pay is a part of that.

“In the past three years we’ve had no increase or raise or negotiations for one at the table,” APOA President Stephanie Lopez said.

The APOA says in the past year, health care and retirement costs have gone up, and a 2.41 percent pay cut took effect this July.

That all adds up to about 10 percent less in pay, according to the APOA.

There could be a 2.5 percent raise in the plan.

The union says that would help, but it does not make up for that full decrease in pay.

Under the councilor’s plan, the $2.4 million would be divided into, roughly, $1.2 million for pay raises, $900,000 for retention programs, and $300,000 for student loan forgiveness.

The city says they are on board with that plan, but are still at odds with the APOA over whether taxpayers should cover costs of union time.

“That will be the sticking point we’ll have to address but we’re confident,” Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano said. 

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