Two-thirds of APD applicants no-show for testing
February 06, 2018 12:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It's common to get cold feet and back out of a test. Being a police officer isn't for everyone. But according to the City of Albuquerque, more than two-thirds of police applicants simply don't show up on testing day.
In an effort to attract future officers, the Albuquerque Police Department has been advertising a $5,000 sign-on bonus for new hires. Still, money is not enough to get some people to commit to the application process.
APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said 2,551 cadet interest cards were submitted by people online in 2017. Of those, 1,479 were out-of-state applicants; 841 of the out-of-state applicants indicated that they heard about the job through the employment recruiting website Indeed.
Last year, 2,051 were qualified for APD's academy and scheduled to take the test. However, only 606 actually showed up for testing.
APD offers 24 testing weekends a year, or two a month, for scheduling convenience. However, testing is a three-day process. Applicants must dedicate a Friday through Sunday to complete a physical test, take aptitude tests that measure vocabulary and reading comprehension, and finally take an integrity exam as well as a psychological exam.
APD recruitment Officer Russ Alberti said many out-of-state applicants whom he has spoken with say they can't commit due to the cost of travel. For others, three days of testing is too much of a commitment.
"Usually it is travel, can't get off of work, or they just decided not to do the job," Alberti said.
Because of travel constraints, Alberti said that APD is considering conducting off-site testing for interested civilians and military.
"We're looking at off-site testing," he said. "Going to military bases perhaps in other states, that's something that we're looking at right now."
A year-and-a-half ago, Alberti said APD participated in a recruitment event at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. APD currently has a recruiting presence at Kirtland Air Force Base. Sometimes, Alberti said, APD will make appearances at National Guard events in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Nationwide, public opinion of police has been shaped by the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of Baltimore police, the 2014 death of Eric Garner during a confrontation with NYPD, and APD shooting and killing homeless man James Boyd in 2014.
With police under scrutiny, applicants may not be as eager.
"It's a tough job," Alberti said.
Those who pass the first round of APD testing eventually have to take a polygraph test.Alberti said there are no plans to get rid of the polygraph requirement.
Out of those who passed testing in 2017, 72 people enrolled in APD's police academy. So far, 41 have graduated. The other half is anticipated to graduate in May 2018.
Updated: February 06, 2018 12:12 PM
Created: February 05, 2018 08:16 PM
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