Portales approves police incentive program


April 7, 2019

PORTALES — The Portales City Council approved an incentive program for the Portales Police Department that will offer certified officers up to $10,000 to join the force for a minimum of three years.

“We have been having trouble recruiting certified officers,” Police Chief Pat Gallegos said. “We haven’t had any certified officers come to the police department in over three years.”

Gallegos said the program will be funded by year-to-date cost savings from the police department being understaffed, with incentives coming in three tiers:

• $5,000 for certified officers with less than 200 hours of advanced training

• $7,500 for between 200 and 400 hours

• $10,000 for over 400 hours, which Gallegos said is a requirement in the department to apply for sergeant.

Gallegos said officers would be required to sign a three-year contract and the incentive program will be available until the end of the fiscal year or the department has filled all of its openings, whichever comes first.

He said the city currently has three openings following the hiring of three uncertified officers, though another vacancy is anticipated this summer.

“If we get certified officers, we actually lower the cost of the initial training to get an officer on the street,” Gallegos said, noting that the three uncertified officers are expected to be on the street in February.

Councilors Veronica Cordova and Jake Lopez were absent.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting (all votes 5-0):

• The council approved a new contract for City Manager Sammy Standefer which included a $14,000 raise, bringing his annual salary to $105,000.

• The council approved a resolution removing $108,378.18 in uncollectable accounts related to ambulance services from the city’s accounts receivable.

Fire Chief Gary Nuckols said the annual resolution addresses accounts dating back at least four years in which the debtor could not be located.

• The council approved a $2.24 million contract with Smithco Construction, Inc. to provide rehabilitation work to some of the city’s water tanks.

• The council approved the city’s annual water conservation resolution, which included language about the water tank improvements “during which time community-wide water conservation measures will be essential.”

The resolution sets a goal of reducing the city’s water demand by 4 percent, or about 40 million gallons in 2019.

• The council approved an updated city rental policy, adding the Yam Theater as an event space available for non-profit, private, funeral and commercial use.


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