City unveils $88M plan to build police force
March 02, 2018 05:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – While crime in Albuquerque has been rising over the last decade, the number of police officers patrolling the streets has been decreasing.
The city has a plan to recruit more officers, but the big question on everyone's mind: Who's going to pay for it?
"As you know, Mayor (Tim) Keller has been very clear about the need and desire to hire more police officers, and we'll second that motion in a lot of different ways," said Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier at a press conference unveiling the city's new plan to recruit more officers Friday.
Keller, however, wasn't at the conference. The plan calls for hiring 400 officers over the next four years to reach a goal of 1,200. There are currently about 850.
The price tag for the plan is $88 million, $400,000 of which would go to increasing recruiting and background check staff. $75,000 would be allocated towards hiring and referral bonuses.
As for where the money would come from, the Albuquerque City Council is set to vote on a proposed three-eighths of a percent bump to the city's gross receipts tax Monday. But that tax hike would go towards plugging a $40 million deficit in the city budget.
"We definitely need the money," Geier said. "But as far as us supporting it (a tax hike), it's needed, let's put it that way."
Geier said if no money from the proposed tax hike goes to efforts to build the police department, it will have to look at grants or other sources of funding.
Updated: March 02, 2018 05:26 PM
Created: March 02, 2018 04:04 PM
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