On July, 14 2023, the Mayor Tim Keller Administration City announced that it has negotiated a new, two-year contract with the Albuquerque Police Officers Association. Under the new 2 year contract, APD police officers are being paid a 5% pay increase for the budget year that started on July 1 and goes through June 31, 2024. Hourly pay will again increase 4% for the next budget year that starts on July 1, 2024 and ends June 31, 2025. The contract will now be sent to the City Council for approval.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office had surpassed the Albuquerque Police Department’s pay scale in June, giving first class deputies a 17% raise, or $35.72 an hour. With the new contract, when APD first class officers get their second raise they will be making $35.91 an hour.
In addition to announcing the negotiated 2 year contract with the police union, the Keller Administration announced pay increases for Police Service Aids and APD Academy Cadets.
POLICE SERVICE AIDE HOURLY PAY
The next Public Service Aide (PSA) class starts July 31. APD currently has 47 Police Service Aides, the highest the department has ever employed. According to department officials, more PSA’s are taking on roles like taking reports for minor traffic crashes and blocking streets during investigations so sworn officers can respond to higher-priority incidents. The PSA program also serves as a pipeline of future officers to join the the department. PSA’s hourly pay will go up from $15.43 to $16.20 an hour.
APD POLICE ACADEMY CADET HOURLY PAY RAISES
The APD police cadet class that started the Police Academy on July 17 are being paid $28.84 an hour or $60,000 annually, a 37% pay increase.
POLICE UNION NEGOTIATED HOURLY PAY RAISES
Under the signed 2023 negotiated police union contract approved by union members, the negotiated yearly and hourly pay increases are as follows:
Patrolmen 2nd Class who have been on the force one full year will be paid $30.28 an hour or $63,000 a year, a 31% pay increase.
2 TO 4 YEAR SERVICE HOURLY PAY RAISES
In the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024, 2 to 4 year service pay goes from $68,411.20 yearly pay, or $32.89 hourly, to $71,831.55 yearly pay, or $34.53 an hour. (5% total yearly pay raise of $3,420.56 + $68,411 yearly base pay = $71,831 ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours = $34.53 hourly).
In the 2024 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025, 2 to 4 year service pay will go from $71,831 yearly pay, or $34.53 an hour to $74,704.24 or $35.91 an hour (4% total yearly pay raise of $2,873.24 + $71,831 yearly pay ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours = $35.91 hourly.)
5 TO 14 YEARS OF SERVICE HOURLY PAY RAISES
In the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024, 5 to 14 year service pay goes from $70,761 pay a year or $34.02 hourly to $74,299 or $35.72 an hour. (5% total yearly pay raise of 3,538 + $70,761 yearly pay = 74,299.05 yearly pay ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours = $35.72 hourly pay)
In the 2024 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025, 5 to 14 year service pay goes from $74,299.05 pay a year or $35.72 hourly pay to $77,271.01 pay a year or $37.14 an hour (4% total yearly pay raise of $2, 971.96 + $74,299.05 yearly pay = $77,271.01 yearly pay or $37.18 hourly.)
15 OR MORE YEARS OF SERVICE HOURLY PAY RAISES
In the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024, 15 or more years of service pay goes from $74, 297 pay a year or $35.72 an hour to $78,011.85 pay a year or $37.50 an hour. (5% total pay raise of $3,714.85 + $74,297 yearly pay = $78,011.85 yearly pay ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours = $37.50 hourly pay.)
In the 2024 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025, 15 or more years’ service pay goes from $78,011.85 a year pay or $37.50 an hour to $81,132 a year pay or $39.00 an hour. (4% yearly pay raise of 3,120.47 + $78,011.85 pay a year = $81,132 pay a year ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours or $39.00 hourly pay.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Although APD Sergeants and Lieutenants are management, they are still allowed to be in the police union which is a likely violation of State law that prohibits management from joining unions but the city allows the practice.. Approximately 20 years ago, APD Captains, now classified as Commanders, were allow to be in the police union, but were removed from the collective bargaining unit.
SERGEANT HOURLY PAY RAISES
In the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024, Sergeant pay goes from $82,533 a year, or $39.69 hourly pay to $86,659.65 a year or $41.66 an hour. (5% total pay raise of $4,126,55 + 82,533 a year = $86,659.65 ÷ 2,080 yearly working hours = $41.66 hourly pay.)
In the 2024 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025, Sergeant pay goes from$86,659.65 a year or $41.66 an hour to $90,126.04 a year or $43.33 an hour. (4% total pay raise of $3,466.38 + $86,659.65 = $90,126.04 ÷ 2080 = $43.33 hourly pay.)
LIEUTENANT HOURLY PAY RAISES
In the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024, Lieutenant pay goes from $94,348 yearly or $45.36 hourly to $99,065.40 or $47.63 an hour. (5% total pay raise of + $4,717.40 + $94,348 = $99,065 ÷ 2, 080 yearly working hours = $47.63 hourly pay.)
In the 2024 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025, Lieutenant pay goes from $99,065 yearly pay or $47.63 an hour to $103,027 a year pay or $49.53 an hour. (4% total pay raise of $3,962.60 = $99,065 yearly pay = $103,027 a year pay ÷ 2, 080 yearly working hours = $49.53 hourly pay. )
LATERAL OFFICERS PAY
APD’s Lateral Class that started May 22 has 14 officers who have experience with other police agencies. The class is the largest in four years when APD experienced a boost of transfers due to higher salaries. Laterals with 2 years of experience will receive a pay increase from $63,065.60 a year or $30.32 an hour to $66,331.20 a year or $31.89 an hour.
REACTION TO PAY INCREASES
Mayor Tim Keller had this to say about the new contract:
“Fighting crime continues to be our top priority. That means we have to support the officers we have and work to expand the department. Our investments are paying off with more people signing up to join the force and more officers choosing stay with APD.”
APD Chief Harold Medina had this to say in a statement about the pay increases:
“Mayor Keller’s investment in our police officers puts us in a great position as we work to recruit new officers and keep the hard-working officers who are putting in the hard work every day to keep Albuquerque safe. … This 5% raise with another 4% next year sends a strong message that we support our officers. They deserve all the support we can give them.”
Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque police union, said this:
“[Officers were] overwhelmingly in favor. … Only five, out of hundreds, voting against it. … I think that we’ve made some major strides. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us to do but the rank and file are happy about the contract and we’re waiting for it to go through the process so it can start to reflect in their paycheck.”
Links to quoted news sources are here:
13% PAY RAISES FROM 2022 to 2023
On February 4, 2022 it was reported that the Keller’s administration had negotiated a new police union contract making APD the best paid law enforcement agency in the region by increasing hourly wages and longevity pay and creating a whole new category of “incentive pay”. All of APD sworn police officers are members of the police union, including patrol officers, sergeants and lieutenants. All of APD sworn police were given combined pay increases of 13% under a two-year contract.
Under the 2022 signed union contract, APD’s starting wages were well above cities and law enforcement agencies of comparable size including Tucson, Arizona, $54,517, and El Paso, Texas, $47,011. Under the 2022 contract terms, longevity pay increased by 5% starting at $2,730 per year with those who have 5 years of service and with incremental service years up to 17 years or more who will be paid $16,380.
Under the union contract, sworn police are entitled to overtime compensation at the rate of time-and-one-half of their regular straight-time rate when they perform work in excess of forty (40) hours in any one workweek. Time worked over 40 hours per week is compensated at time and a half of the officer’s regular rate of pay, or in the form of “compensatory time.” There is no contract provision placing a cap on the amount of overtime any officer can be paid.
The 2022-2023 proposed budget also included $13 million for a city-wide 2% cost-of-living increase. Buried in the 2022-2023 budget is the fact that the city hall workforce excluding APD sworn police, is approximately 5,916 (6,916 total workforce – 1,100 sworn) who will be given a mere 2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) but subject to union negotiations.
POLICE LONGEVITY PAY
In addition to their hourly pay, APD sworn police officers are paid “longevity pay”. APD sworn qualify for longevity pay in their fifth year of service. Under the police union contract terms, longevity pay starts at $2,730 per year and increases topping of at $16,380 annually for those who have served 17 or more years. The longevity pay scale bi-weekly annual amounts are as follows:
Beginning Year 5 through 5, $105 paid bi weekly, $2,730 annually
Beginning Year 6 through 6, $131 paid bi weekly, $3,406 annually
Beginning Year 7 through 9, $236 paid bi weekly, $6,136 annually
Beginning Year 10 through 12, $315 paid bi weekly, $8,190 annually
Beginning Year 13 through 15, $368 paid bi weekly, $9,568 annually
Beginning Year 16 through 17, $473 paid bi weekly, $12,298 annually
Beginning Year 18 and above, $630 paid bi weekly, $16,380 annually
RETENTION PAY BONUSES
APD started a new retention package in October 2022 that provided incentives for experienced officers who might otherwise consider retiring. As a result, there have been only 18 retirements during the subsequent 8-month period. APD matched national trends in retirements prior to this year. In 2021, 97 officers retired and in 2022, 50 officers retired. The retention package provides officers who meet qualifications with an additional $1,500 dollars at the end of each month, and 10% of their medical is paid for by the city.
It was on October 7, 2022 APD Chief Harold Medina announced retention pay bonuses for police officers who have been on the force 19 years or more, and who are eligible for retirement. They are paid as much as $18,000 more per year, or $1,500 more a month. In addition, the department pays 100% of the officers’ medical benefits. In addition to $18,000 more a year in incentive pay to 19 year veterans, police officers with 18 years or more of police service are paid $16,380 annual longevity pay resulting in a combined $34,380 of incentive pay and longevity pay in one year
POLICE OVERTIME PAY
Under the union contract, sworn police are entitled to overtime compensation at the rate of time-and-one-half of their regular straight-time rate when they perform work in excess of forty (40) hours in any one workweek. Time worked over 40 hours per week is compensated at time and a half of the officer’s regular rate of pay, or in the form of “compensatory time.” There is no contract provision placing a cap on the amount of overtime any officer can be paid. Compensatory time is the award of hours as already worked to be paid and is calculated at the rate of 1-1/2 times the hours actually worked. The maximum accrual of comp time for any officer is 150 hours.
During the last 11 years, the Albuquerque Police Department has consistently gone over its overtime budgets by millions. As examples, in fiscal year 2016, APD was funded for $9 million for over time but APD actually spent $13 million. A March, 2017 city internal audit of APD’s overtime spending found police officers “gaming the system” that allows them to accumulate excessive overtime at the expense of other city departments. A city internal audit report released in March, 2017 revealed that the Albuquerque Police Department spent over $3.9 million over its $9 million “overtime” budget.
2022 BREAKDOWN OF 250 TOP PAID CITY HALL EMPLOYEEs
At the end of each calendar year, City Hall releases the top 250 wage earners based on hourly wages paid. The list of 250 top city hall wages earners is what is paid for the full calendar year of January 1, to December 31 of any given year. The City of Albuquerque has 26 separate departments and it employs upwards of 6,000 full time employees. In 2022, APD averaged employing 856 full time
In 2022, the breakdown of the 250 top paid city hall employees reveals they were paid between $124,540.80 to $235,992.53. Of the top 250 top paid city hall employees, 143 of the top paid 250 wage earners employed included Patrol Officers First Class, Senior Police Officers, Master Police Officers, Sergeants and Lui tenants. Lieutenants, although management, are allowed to be members of the Police Union and are entitled to be paid time and a half for overtime. The excessive wages of the 143 police officers in the top 250 city hall employee is directly attributed to overtime pay.
During 2022, APD averaged about 856 sworn officers and of that number 143 of those officers were in the top 250 paid employees.
In 2022, APD Lieutenants were paid a base pay $94,348 yearly or $45.36 hourly. There are 31 APD Lieutenants listed in the top 250 paid city hall employees who were paid between $125, 945 to $217,646 in 2022 because of overtime.
In 2022, APD Sergeant were paid a base pay $82,533 a year, or $39.69 hourly. There are 35 APD Sergeants who were paid between $124,902.87 to $211,910 because of overtime.
In 2022, the average yearly base pay paid to Police Officers First Class, Senior Police Officers 1st Class, Master Police Officers First Class, depending on their total number of years of experience was $71,156. There are 6 police officer 1st class, 19 Senior Police Officers 1st class and 2 Master Police Officers 1st class in the top 250 paid city hall employees that were paid between $124,902 and $165,330 because of overtime.
The link to review the entire list of 250 top city hall paid employees for 2022 is here:
APD PERFORMANCE MEAUSRES
The City of Albuquerque budget is a “performance based” budget. All 27 city department, including APD are required to submit statistics reflecting job performance measures to justify increases or decreases in their budgets. Review of APD’s performance measures taken from the city council approved budgets for the past 3 full fiscal years (July 1 to June 31) reveals the following major highlights:
TOTAL APD FELONY ARRESTS:
TOTAL APD MISDEMEANOR ARRESTS
TOTAL APD DWI ARRESTS:
CLEARANCE RATE OF CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS (e.g., murder, rape, assault)
CLEARANCE RATE OF CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY (e.g., robbery, bribery, burglary)
CLEARANCE RATE OF CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY (e.g., gambling, prostitution, drug violations)
HOMICIDE CLEARANCE RATE (Uniform Crime Reporting definable)
The link to 2024 fiscal year budget, page 150 for APD approved budget and performance measures:
Click to access fy24-proposed-web-version.pdf
The link to 2023 fiscal year budget, page 242 for APD approved budget and performance measures:
The link to 2022 fiscal year budget, page 229 for APD approved budget and performance measures:
Click to access fy22-approved-budget-numbered-w-hyperlinks-final.pdf
On December 15, 2022, APD released the Traffic Units 2022 statistics. It was reported that the traffic unit had an 82% increase in overall traffic citations and a 29% decrease in traffic fatalities.
As of December 15, 2022 the Motors Unit issued 34,108 traffic citations, up from 18,661 in 2021. The Traffic Unit also investigated 61 fatal crashes year to date, down from 80 in 2021.
The unit issued 675 freeway citations,1,010 citations during Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) operations, and 7,529 citations along the Central corridor.
A full presentation of the unit’s overall numbers can be found here.
On April 24, it was reported that APD had about 22,000 citations issued so far this year and that’s from the combined efforts of several operations.
On May 26, Mayor Tim Keller signed off on the Albuquerque City Council approved $1.37 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024. The overall approved budget is for $1.37 billion with $827.1 million in general fund appropriations marking a 3% decrease from the current year. The combined operating and capital budget of $1,367,695,000 and it is $53.6 million lower than the fiscal year 2023 budget. The approved budget includes a 3.5% pay raise for city employees but not when it comes to APD police who will now be getting 9% pay increases combined over the next 2 years, not to mention APD officers receiving 13% pay raises combined in the previous 2 years. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) continues to be the largest city budget out of 27 departments. The fiscal year 2024 approved General Fund budget is $257 million, a 1% increase from last year or 31% of the general fund. Last year’s 2023 APD’s budget was $255.4 million, which represented a 14.7% increase or $32.8 million above the fiscal year 2022 level.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
In August 2017, then New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller, candidate for Albuquerque Mayor, had this to say about the city’s high crime rates:
“It’s unfortunate, but crime is absolutely out of control. It’s the mayor’s job to actually address crime in Albuquerque, and that’s what I want to do as the next mayor.”
Tim Keller ran on the platform promising to reduce the city’s spiking crime rates, increase the number of sworn police to 1,200 and return to community-based policing. For 5 years, Keller has failed to deliver on his promises in that the city’s crime rates and murder rates are at historical highs, the number of sworn police has never even reached 1,000 let alone 1,200 under Keller and community base policing is nowhere to be found.
Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Harold Medina always and emphatically proclaim that fighting crime is their number one priority. What directly contradicts this is that APD performance rates for the past 3 years have been going down dramatically in total felony arrests, misdemeanor arrests, and DWI arrests. Further, APD performance rates have also gone done with clearance rates down in crimes against persons (e.g. murder, rape, assault), down in crimes against property (e.g. robbery, bribery, burglary) and down in crimes against society (e.g. gambling, prostitution, drug violations.)
Almost every year Keller has been Mayor, he has increased APD’s budget as well as given significant hourly pay increases to APD’s officers. With newly negotiated union contract, combined hourly APD hourly pay increases over the last 4 years Keller has been in office is upwards of a whopping 22%. The 22% amount does not even include incentive pay, longevity pay and overtime pay added on top of the pay raises. While APD sworn have benefited with significant pay increases from Tim Keller being Mayor, the other 5,000 remaining city hall employees have had to endure with mediocre pay rases as low as 2% to 3%, if any, a year.
Throughout Keller’s five years in office, APD has consistently failed to recruit and fill sworn police vacancies and has failed to keep up with yearly retirements. During the last 4 years, funding has been for 1,100 sworn police each year. Today, APD has 856 sworn officers. APD’s budget line item proposed budget list 1,847 full time positions with funding for 1,040 full-time, sworn police positions and 804 civilian support personnel for the 1,847 full time positions.
APD’s performance measures over the last 3 fiscal years have been on the decline and should be considered mediocre at best. Notwithstanding, the city continues to fund the department at ever increasing millions a year. The Keller Administration always agrees to union demands to increase hourly pay and that are not at all tied to overall performance measures of the department.
If Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Harold Medina indeed believe that crime is the number one priority, they need to concentrate more on requiring far more and expect far more from APD’s personnel when it comes to performance measures and arrests and clearance rates rather than caving into police union demands for more pay. Otherwise, all they are doing is throwing money at salaries hoping that more arrests will be made and crime will go down as Mayor Tm Keller seeks a third term in 2025.
The link to a related blog article is here