Initiative will fund more than 300 new officers in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After the state’s $50 million dollar funding initiative to drive police recruitment, a little over 300 officer vacancies have been funded.

“$50 million set aside in a fund means today, right now, we’re announcing the ability to immediately approve 317 officers around the state,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The funding is put in place to help departments across the state in numerous ways, with the main focus of helping ease the use of other police departments who exhaust their means. 

The plan to fund departments statewide was an important step for this initiative too.

“If we don’t do this in a statewide effort, crime moves,” Lujan Grisham said.

After funding was approved, different police departments were able to approve their funding for officer vacancies. APD filled 67 spots while BCSO filled 18 – adding to the total of 317 officer vacancies funded statewide now.

While increasing recruitment can help, retaining officers is another step the state will have to look at.

“Now, all of those resources firmly get devoted to giving raises to your current officers, to solving those issues with all the administrative staff and support you can do retention bonuses,” Lujan Grisham said. “We’re not going to dictate to a jurisdiction. How, they do that? All of the above, happening now.”

Given the proper resources, the governor hopes to see the program grow.

“I want to get to 1,000 officers, which that’s at least another $50 million,” Lujan Grisham said.