To Reach For The Unreachable Star

On May 24, 2018, just 18 police officer cadets graduated from the APD Police Academy that will actually go to work for APD.

These newly sworn officers will now be given on the job training with a supervisor for six months to complete their training.

Beginning January 1, 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers and these graduates will bring APD up to the 898 level.

APD retirements are expected to be announced on July 1, 2018.

Recently, the City Council past the 2018-2019 budget that allocates funding for 1,040 full time positions.

In order to increase APD from the current 898 sworn police with the new cadets counted to 1,040 sworn by this time next year, the APD Police Academy will need to keep up with expected retirements and will have to hire at least 144 new officers either as new recruits or as lateral hires.

Based on APD Academy past performance over the past 8 years, the Police Academy will not meet the goal of recruiting and hiring 140 police officers by the end of this year, let alone to 1,200 by the end of Keller’s four year term.

The 2018-2019 fiscal year budget reports the following number of cadet graduates over the last few years as follows:

Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2016-2017: 52

In 2016, APD had 90 retirements

Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2017-2018: 43

The net gain in 2017 was 2.

Approved number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 80

Mid-Year number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 24

Proposed number of approved cadet graduates for fiscal year 2019-2020: 100

At the beginning of 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers.

Mayor Keller is proposing to spend $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and expand APD from 878 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers by implementing a hiring and recruitment program to offer incentives, pay raises and bonuses to join or return to APD in order to return to community-based policing.

The Keller Administration successfully negotiated a two-year contract with the police union providing $12.2 million dollars in hourly wage increases and longevity pay increases to new and experienced police officers which should make APD more competitive with other cities and help recruitment efforts.

A “Status Quo Projection” for Number of APD Officers was included in the APD expansion plan if the plan was not implemented

Starting Officer Count each year for the next four years without the expansion plan:

2018: 880
2019: 872
2020: 864
2021: 857

Starting Officer recruitment and lateral hires and retirements without the expansion plan:

Annual New Recruits each year for the next four years: 56 per year for a total of 224

Annual Lateral Recruits each year for the next four years: 2 per year for a total of 8

Total Annual Recruits each year for the next four years: 58 per year for a total of 232

Annual Retirements each year for the next four years: 41 per year for a total of 164

Annual Resignations each year for the next four years: 24 per year for a total of 96

Total Annual Attrition each year for the next four years: 65 per year for a total of 260

Net Loss each year for the next four years: 8 per year for a total of 32

Projected remaining Officers each year for the next 4 years without the expansion plan:

2018: 872
2019: 864
2019: 857
2020: 849


The major obstacle the Keller Administration is confronted with is the APD Academy not being able to recruit and keep up with retirements and add to grow the department.

The average number of academy graduates is usually between 35 to 40 graduates and the academy normally has only two academy classes per year for new police officers.

If APD has the same number of retirements and other departures that it had last year, the likelihood the department’s sworn officer count will actually shrink.

Retirement paperwork for police retirements need to be submitted before July 1, 2018 to allow a retiree to be eligible for cost of living adjustments (COLA) within two years and to cash out or be paid unused accumulated annual and sick leave.

APD insiders are saying moral within the Department has improved somewhat, but not enough to keep another large wave of retirements come July 1, 2018 when the new fiscal year begins.

City residents need to hope that Keller’s aggressive recruitment and expansion plan woks, but it just may be reaching for an unreachable star.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.