Posted at: 10/25/2012 9:14 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2012 10:19 PM
By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The Albuquerque Police Officers Association is responding to our story about so-called 'chief's overtime.'
Some neighborhood associations are paying to have off duty Albuquerque Police officers patrol neighborhoods.
The association's president doesn't like that taxpayers are paying twice to help keep their neighborhoods safe.
"Citizens should not have to feel obligated to start donating their own money to hire additional patrols. That's what the department is suppose to do with tax money," said association President Greg Weber.
Weber said he's not criticizing neighborhoods for paying chief's overtime. But he says it's a symptom of a bigger problem within the department.
Weber said the department has not been able to maintain its force of 1100 officers. He said the department is currently staffed at 997 officers.
"We simply have to hire more cops," said Weber.
Deputy Chief Allen Banks responded by saying that chief's overtime has been done for years and doesn't know why the police union is bringing it up now.
He said attrition is an issue but says the department wants quality officers and not just anybody on the street.
Banks said 20 new officers will be on the street by June, including nine in the next month and a half. He said another academy class will be starting up this spring. He also said the Police Chief continues to talk to the union about hiring more officers.