Mayor Richard Berry and Albuquerque Police Chief Raymond Schultz announced Wednesday an initiative that will give each cadet a $5,000 bonus for completing the academy and $500 for city employees who refer qualified candidates. The city has also launched a new campaign aimed at attracting more recruits.
The move comes as the department worries that as many as 200 officers could retire due to proposed changes to state retirement funds. Schultz said those retirements would reduce the department's workforce to around 800.
The department recently increased hiring requirements for incoming cadets following a string of officer-involved shootings.