Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Better Numbers

What's wrong with this picture?

This is Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz, on the left. Last week, when Mayor Martin Chávez said there were close to 1,000 officers, Schultz didn’t layout the real numbers of how many officers are on the police department.

At this week’s City Council meeting, Monday, Schultz was asked by Councillor Brad Winter, right, how many officers were on the police department’s payroll.

Schultz’ answer was 1,028, including cadets. He included cadets because he says they will eventually fill slots that are already authorized by the budget.

Schultz promised to deliver a complete list of every officer on the department to Winter.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Schultz’ answer hedged a little bit. In an interview, after testifying before the council, he identified that the number of cadets was 49. He said that he currently has multiple classes in session. Of the three classes, he anticipates graduating: 17 officers on May 25, another 15, June 29 and 18 on Sept. 28.

The number of sworn officers is 979.

Schultz told the council that the runaway bride recruiting campaign was successful, with about 500 people contacting the department. He said recruiting received 351 interest cards in the month of April.

The chief said that there had been a shift in the number of cadets necessary to start a class. Now he will start one with as few as 12 cadets. There are some advantages. Interested applicants do not have to wait months for a class to begin and the smaller numbers allows for more one on one teaching. Problems with trainees can be identified, isolated and corrected sooner. He hopes to start more classes on the way to reaching the goal of 1,100 officers by the end of the year.

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