Metropolitan Detention Center ramps up recruitment efforts

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Metropolitan Detention Center, which is still facing staffing issues, is running new ads to try to boost its recruitment efforts.

The new ads highlight incentives such as signing bonuses and work benefits. Last summer, MDC’s understaffing even led the detention center to declare a state of emergency, twice.

After running ad campaigns and hosting multiple hiring events, MDC has made some progress but they’re operating with just 54% of correctional officers in a facility that sees – on average – 1,500 inmates a day.

Their most recent hiring event was Saturday.

“At last week’s recruiting event that MDC had onsite, we had 21 new officer signups,” said Larry Gallegos, MDC communications services specialist.

Those officers that signed on are not fully on staff yet, until they get their background checks.

“Hopefully this crew will be in the March academy class,” Gallegos said.

Two inmate deaths were reported at MDC this January. There have been 20 deaths there since 2020.

MDC officials said the latest death was 52-year-old Tanya Martinez went into medical distress, but the medical team responded and was unable to save her. At this time, BCSO and the MDC Office of Professional Standards are still investigating her death.