ALBUQUERQUE, NM- On Jan. 28, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry announced a change in the City's take-home vehicle policy for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) that will allow all current officers to take patrol vehicles home no matter where they reside. This reversed a Jan. 1 policy that limited the take-home car program to officers who live within an 11-mile radius from the Big I freeway interchange, according to a release from the mayor's office.
Officers hired after July 1, 2011, who live outside city limits will not be allowed to take patrol vehicles home.
The City expected to save more than $600,000 on its take-home car restrictions. After the policy went into effect, the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) filed suit. The mayor's administration reached an agreement with the APOA that it expects will save taxpayers $1 million; the APOA has dropped its lawsuit.
In exchange for revisions to the take-home car program, the APOA gave up three major incentives that will save taxpayers millions over the next several years, according to the mayor's office.
These incentives are retention bonuses for veteran officers costing an estimated $750,000 last year, loan reimbursements costing more than $83,000 last year, and mortgage incentives for signing a seven-year commitment with the APD, which cost $98,000 last year.
"I am proud of my public safety team who worked tirelessly to come up with solutions that will save millions. This is good for taxpayers and it solves the long term policy issue by prohibiting take-home cars for new officers outside of the City limits," Mayor Berry said.