Public Safety budget to address NMSP pay, secure recruit schools and additional staffing
SANTA FE – The Department of Public Safety (DPS) budget priorities for the coming year include new funding to accelerate a New Mexico State Police (NMSP) pay plan, salary increases for dispatchers and transportation inspectors, funding for two (2) enhanced NMSP Recruit Schools, two (2) Lateral NMSP recruit schools, security and infrastructure funding, staff, and operations enhancements.
Included in the agency’s general fund appropriation proposal to the New Mexico Legislature, the pay plan, pay increases, staff augmentation, recruit schools’ funding, are vital to recruit, hire and retain officers, dispatchers, transportation inspectors and civilian staff, said DPS Cabinet Secretary Jason R. Bowie.
“The budget request is the department’s attempt to recover funding for important priorities that affect law enforcement throughout New Mexico, as well as NMSP,” said Bowie.
Under the proposal, the NMSP’s request would continue executive and legislative pay raises for the officer pay plan, provide an additional nine (9) percent pay increase across the board for commissioned officers, implement a new officer longevity pay plan, effect a dispatcher pay adjustment, and modify transportation inspectors’ classification and pay.
“The goal is to expand financial incentives for current commissioned NMSP personnel and candidates to realize retention for decades,” said Bowie. “Increased hourly pay rates help us remain more competitive with larger state law enforcement agencies and bordering states.”
The same strategy is being applied to civilian staff, said Bowie.
Forensic scientists, who analyze crime scene items submitted by law enforcement in support of investigations and prosecutions of individuals suspected of crimes, would see targeted reclassifications and additional staff added to the laboratory, which services more than 300 New Mexico law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
Committed to providing the highest quality of public safety services for the State of New Mexico, the department also asked to restore the five (5) percent budget cut implemented in FY2022 for program support.
Additional cloud storage for digital camera evidence from in-car and body worn cameras, were also part of the ask. The department needs for storage have outpaced the initial estimates projected in the original storage plan.
Funding to augment information technology security and infrastructure, personnel and operating expenses for the Law Enforcement Academy Board (LEAB), supplemental law enforcement records bureau, administrative services division, and NMSP civilian staffing, was also requested.
The department provides vital leadership, scientific, training, technical and operational support to the criminal justice community and the public.