ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --
The 180 Albuquerque police officers who lost their take-home cars because of a policy change on Jan. 1 will get them back.
The city of Albuquerque has a new plan that will actually save taxpayers more money.
Even though the department will get its take-home cars back, officers are giving up major incentives and recruiting perks.
On Jan. 1, the city enacted a policy that prevented officers from taking home their police cars if they live more than 11 miles away from the interstate interchange. The goal was to save the city $600,000.
“You’re trying to come up with a package that works for everybody and this was a good compromise,” Mayor Richard Berry said.
City leaders and the police union came up with a new agreement that will take effect July 1. Under the new agreement, officers won’t be allowed to take-home their cars if they live outside of the city limits.
When it comes to new and old hires, the city is taking away retention bonuses. Some officers were receiving $15,000 a year.
Officers also won’t get student loan reimbursements anymore.
The mortgage incentive program that gave officers money to buy a home if they signed a seven-year commitment is gone too.
Slashing all of these incentives will save the city $1 million a year.
“Taxpayers won in a big way here and police got something they wanted. So we’ll take deals like this all time,” Berry said.
Some officers will have to make financial adjustments as a result, but the mayor said it’s not a source of contention.
“The union representatives are happy with that. That’s a win, win for us,” Berry said.
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