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State Police pay overhaul could cost $10.8 million

November 20, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Increasing pay for New Mexico State Police officers to make their salaries competitive with other law enforcement agencies could cost nearly $10.8 million, lawmakers were told Wednesday.

A private consultant’s study for the Department of Public Safety found 10 other law enforcement agencies — including in San Juan County, Hobbs, Farmington, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Carlsbad and Santa Fe — pay higher starting salaries than the $18.21 hourly rate for a State Police patrolman.

A starting police officer in Hobbs is paid more than $22 an hour, and there is a $25,000 signing bonus after five years, according to the study outlined to the Legislative Finance Committee. The panel will make spending recommendations to next year’s Legislature.

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