ABQ police union survey: 98 percent of officers say APD is understaffed, compromising safety

Albuquerque police patch

Officer retention and recruitment is a big issue for the Albuquerque Police Department at the moment, and a new survey by the officers’ union is painting a dire picture regarding the department’s staffing.

Of more than 330 officers surveyed, about 98 percent said they believe there are not enough officers to meet the public’s needs.

97 percent also say they believe low staffing numbers compromise their safety.

The union points to pay as a big factor for low staffing, as departments in comparable cities often offer more money.

The union also wants APD to spend $1 million in recruiting initiatives it says has worked in the past.

“[An] $8,000 house down payment assistance if you stay within the city of Albuquerque and you sign a four-to-five year contract. College tuition reimbursement and education incentives,” APOA President Shaun Willoughby pointed to. “We have a lot of officers in college right now. That would be a huge savings.”

CABQ Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry released the following statement regarding the survey Thursday night:

“The City of Albuquerque has issued a total of 20.1% in pay increases for Albuquerque police officers over the last six years; our current budget gives officers an additional 1.5%. The proposed recommendations given by the union are items that were negotiated away by the same union years ago. Public Safety and the overall wellbeing of our officers is a top priority for this administration. We will continue to work with union address their suggestions.”