Police union optimistic about recruiting at APD
June 20, 2018 10:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M - For years the Albuquerque Police Department has struggled to recruit and retain officers, but the president of the Albuquerque Police Officer’s Association believes things are getting better.
“I think we're growing the police department for the first time in a very long time and what we're seeing is recruiters’ phones ringing off the hook,” Shaun Willoughby said.
In May, the City of Albuquerque and the police union reached an agreement to give APD officers a pay raise, the first in nine years.
Willoughby says the department is seeing a spike in officers stepping out of retirement or coming from different departments including Santa Fe P.D., Rio Rancho P.D., and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re seeing numbers that we haven’t seen in my career and I’ve been on for 16 years, so everything is pointing to the direction that this is working and is going to work,” he said.
Willoughby said there are about 30 officers in the academy right now that have come from other departments. Their training is being condensed since they have law enforcement experience.
“You still have to pass everything that the reform process requires,” Willoughby said. “You have to have a psychological testing, a polygraph testing, it’s no easy feat to become an Albuquerque police officer.”
While APD is recruiting lateral officers from around the country, Willoughby said the majority of people who have responded are from New Mexico.
“You want individuals that police this community that come from this community,” he said. “You want individuals from the state of New Mexico that understand the dynamics and the culture and the history all of that is so important when you're policing the community.”
Updated: June 20, 2018 10:20 PM
Created: June 20, 2018 09:22 PM
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