Albuquerque police academy welcomes 60 new cadets

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina was excited Tuesday morning to show off 60 new cadets.

Right now, APD has 876 sworn officers and 41 police service aids. This class is also the first that will be under APD’s new pay scale.

The new cadets will get paid $28.84 an hour, or $60,000 annually. That’s a 37% pay increase, but Medina said they’re not just looking for new recruits to help staff the department.

Officers already on the force will get a 5% pay raise this year, and a 4% raise next year.

“We’re addressing this on both sides of careers. We’re bringing in more individuals through better pay, we’re starting a pre-academy in hopes that more people succeed, and are able to graduate,” he said.

He said they’ve also focused on veteran officers, pay increases, and bonuses as part of the department’s retention efforts.

“You know our officers that are hitting retirement it’s important we keep them as long as possible. They’re giving $1,500 currently for every month that they stay beyond retirement, and we are paying 100% of their medical,” Medina said.

APD said the class is the biggest in four years, and Medina said between lateral transfers, new recruits and veterans, the department could use a huge boost in staffing soon.

“If we could continue to incentivize those near retirement to stay longer and reduce those retirements there’s a good possibility that within the next 18 months, we could be at 1,000 which to me is a big milestone number for use as a police department,” said Chief Medina.