Hobbs police recruits face housing shortage

Posted at: 12/18/2012 5:44 PM
Updated at: 12/18/2012 6:31 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Hobbs Police Department has been working tirelessly to recruit officers and keep up with population growth in town.

“What we've done in the last two months is assign two fulltime recruiting officers in addition to the part-time guy we had doing it,” Chief Chris McCall said. “Two and a half people contributed each week to recruiting and doing backgrounds and things of that nature. We've been doing that since October and we've got a good response. We sent these guys out to academies all over Texas and New Mexico, been to some military bases, done some recruiting there.”

The ramped-up efforts have made a big difference in the officers that have applied to be a part of Hobbs PD, and in the number of qualified applicants.

“We've really had a good response from that, we had a great response off a previous recruiting trip to the west coast,” McCall said. “We have five or six guys from the west coast now, our numbers are starting to come up, we have about ten in training right now, which is a tremendous number for us. It's really straining our resources, which is a good problem to have.”

But Hobbs PD still has a hurdle in its way; the influx of transferring officers will need somewhere to live, and Hobbs is in the midst of a severe housing shortage.

“We're having a hard time placing people in homes,” McCall said. “We've been really working with the people we've recruited from out of town and trying to help them get rental property or purchase a home.”

As a result, Hobbs PD is asking anyone with information about upcoming homes available for rent to contact the department so that they can get officers in place and on the streets as soon as possible.

“We're going to any means we can to get these folks housing to get them in and get them to work,” McCall said.

If you have information that could help, contact Officer Stone at mlstone@hobbsnm.org or call 575-397-9381.