Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was joined by law enforcement leadership and elected officials at the CNM Law Enforcement Academy on Tuesday to announce the new Law Enforcement Training Assistance Fund, a dedicated investment in supporting new officers at small law enforcement agencies statewide.
“We are breaking down every barrier possible for the men and women who want to dedicate their lives to protecting New Mexicans, as well as the departments they serve,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This administration will continue invest in New Mexico officers and law enforcement agencies and all who protect and serve New Mexicans.”
Launched with $800,000 in initial funding, the Law Enforcement Training Assistance Fund will be used to assist local law enforcement agencies with the costs associated with certifying and equipping new police officers, including the cost to attend law enforcement academy training and the cost for initial officer equipment. Funded by a federal workforce development allocation from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the fund will be coordinated by the state Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). With the initial funding, NMDWS estimates the program will support training for 80 new officers across the state.
“Law enforcement agencies across New Mexico and the country are struggling with the recruitment and retention of police officers who provide vital services to our communities,” said New Mexico Department of Public Safety Secretary Jason Bowie. “This effort to incentivize the recruitment of police officers aims to address head-on the shortfall in police officers and will serve to decrease crime in many cities across New Mexico, in turn increasing the quality of life for New Mexicans.”
“The CNM Law Enforcement Academy is very honored to be entrusted by the State of New Mexico and our state’s law enforcement agencies to train police cadets who will become the next generation of law enforcement officers,” said Ray Fritts, Director of the CNM Law Enforcement Academy. “We look forward to welcoming new cadets from agencies that serve our smaller communities around the state — and this fund is going to make it easier for so many of our graduates to get started in their new career of public service.”
The Law Enforcement Training Assistance Fund is just the latest of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s investments in hiring, training and supporting more public safety officers in communities across New Mexico. The governor proposed and secured a $72 million investment in the 2022 legislative session for new law enforcement recruitment and retention funds, designed to reduce the competition between local agencies for personnel and support new recruiting initiatives for hires trained in community policing and de-escalation techniques. The state Department of Public Safety is currently surveying law enforcement agencies statewide to identify areas of need, with the funding to be distributed to local departments at the state, county, and municipal levels by the state Department of Finance and Administration.
In addition to enacting an average 16 percent raise for New Mexico State Police officers, the governor’s 2022 capital outlay funding also included:
- $5.1 million for a new public safety complex in Sandoval County, celebrated by the governor in Bernalillo earlier on Tuesday.
- $5 million to improve state police facilities statewide.
- $3 million for improvements to a public safety center in southeast Albuquerque.
- $2.1 million for a new emergency operation center for Luna County in Deming, celebrated by the governor in Deming in July.
- $415,000 for new police vehicles in Guadalupe County.
- $340,000 to purchase and equip police vehicles for the Grant County sheriff’s department.