Farmington PD awarded $250,000 state grant to bolster police services

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – The Farmington Police Department will receive $250,000 from a state program aimed at supporting the state’s police departments through cash grants to law enforcement agencies.

Farmington was not in the mix earlier this year when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham doled out much of the $50 million available to various departments across the state, including Aztec, Bloomfield and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced distribution of the remaining $8.5 million from the Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund to 39 law enforcement agencies across the state.

Farmington plans to use the money as a means of trying to keep the officers that it already has.

“We will be receiving $112,500 this year, $112,500 again for the next year and the balance remaining in the third year,” said Farmington Police Department spokesperson Shanice Gonzales.

The funds will be used as a retention bonus for existing officers, Gonzales said.

The Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund passed during the last legislative session as part of House Bill 68. The one-time award of funds is structured to be disbursed over several years, and payments decrease over time.

The bill, supported by the governor, was billed as crime-fighting package “and funded with $50 million in the budget to support the recruitment of new officers at local departments throughout the state,” the governor’s office said in a September news release when the first $40 million in funds was doled out.

“We know that law enforcement agencies around the state need additional officers and lack the local resources to do so,” Lujan Grisham said in the Dec. 9 news release. “This much-needed funding is bridging that gap and empowering communities to get hundreds more officers on the streets. I’m committed to continuing our strong support for law enforcement, and I will pursue additional funding for this initiative in the upcoming legislative session.”

The state money comes with a set of rules about how it can be spent.

“Law enforcement departments may use awards for salaries, benefits, recruitment incentives, and other personnel expenditures related to recruiting and training certified law enforcement officers in New Mexico,” the state said in its news release Dec. 9.

The state estimates that the fund will help fund more than 400 new officers in departments across the state.