Created: January 07, 2020 10:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Albuquerque Police Department has launched new initiatives to recruit more police officers.
In the previous years, APD had one person in charge of recruitment. Now there are dozens of people working both in-state and out-of-state to add officers to the force.
APD recently launched a new recruitment video campaign where officers share stories about why they chose APD. The theme behind the videos is “If I can, you can.”
“We like to call it the heart behind the badge because that's one thing that's never recognized is that, you know, behind each badge there's a human being,” said Director of Recruiting Dave Romo.
Romo said the video campaign is designed to humanize officers with the hopes of bringing more people into the department.
“We're looking to recruit not only basic officers but lateral police officers,” Romo said.
Lateral officers are those who already went through a police academy, but may seek new opportunities within APD.
“We've already traveled to Michigan. We’ve gone back east to Florida. We’re in Los Angeles in two weeks,” Romo said. “We're about to really look heavily into Colorado.”
Romo said APD recruiters are currently in Texas.
“We've hired probably over 75 lateral police officers in the last year,” he said.
APD had large recruiting class of at least 50 officers in the late 90s and early 2000s. All of those officers are now eligible for retirement.
The increase from one to four full-time recruiting officers in addition to 60 others within the department working on ride-along and other efforts has helped double cadet class sizes in the past year.
“It's my 30th year and I’m still honored to work for this police department and everything we do in this police unit is to fly our APD flag high,” Romo said.
In the past year, Romo said APD’s numbers have increased from 820 to 950 officers.
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