The Journal North (read it here) carried a story about Santa-Fe Interim Chief, Ray Real, and his decision to change the police officers Take-Home Car Policy. The City of Santa-Fe and the citizens’ of Santa-Fe should realize the repercussions that will follow this “cognitive deficit” decision. This will affect liability, recruitment, retention and quality of officers in the long run. The cost could be staggering.
Not all the officers that work for the SPD make as much money as Val Kilmer or others who can afford to live in Santa-Fe, New Mexico. Most of the officers live where their salaries allow them.
The Eye located this information:
The median income for Santa-Fe is $52,000.00 New Mexico’s median income is $43,000.00.
The median house/condo for Santa-Fe is $306,000.00. New Mexico’s median house/condo is $160,000.00.
According to the City of Santa-Fe website, the starting wage for an officer is $18.73 to $22.33 an hour. Yearly this comes out to be $39,000.00 to $46,500.00 per year. This is before taxes, insurances or other benefits are deducted. The average salary for a Santa-Fe police officer is around the New Mexico median income of $43,000.00. This shows a deficit for an officer of approximately $9,000.00 compared the average/median income for a Santa-Fe resident.
Let’s compare the housing market. If the median house/condo for Santa-Fe is $306,000.00 and New Mexico’s median house/condo is $160,000.00; that means an officer would need to afford and make two house payments in comparison to living in Santa-Fe. This does not even touch the issues of property taxes. It should become clear why so many officers do not live in Santa-Fe; it is cost prohibited.
According to the article, “both the city and the county have undertaken fairly aggressive programs to create more affordable housing.” No police officer wants to live in the “projects” of Santa-Fe or any other place for that matter. Let’s make a deal; Rael and the Santa-Fe City Council need to move into the “affordable” housing first. Then the Eye believes that the officers will then move and be your neighbors. We hear it from here; those officials of Santa-Fe do not want to give up their nice homes in good neighborhoods. Case-in-point made.
If Rael wants to make a name for him-self and remain as chief, he needs to think of something better than this type rubbish. Rael should have learned a lesson from the time that Albuquerque’s Public Safety Director, Darren White, tried to change the APD policy and lied to the Albuquerque City Council. Throwing a bone to city leaders and shoving the rank and file under the bus for a personal benefit is wrong and shows moral bankruptcy.
The Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board (AJED) must be detached from reality. Their praise of this cognitively deficit decision is just as poor of an action as Rael’s decision. The cretins that are on the AJED are detached from reality. The Board also recommended, “Rael might want to consider a slightly more radical approach to the commuting issue. Why not make the 20-mile rule apply to everyone? The Santa Fe community would reap the benefit of take-home cruisers – namely, an after-hours police presence in whichever neighborhood an officer lives. And the city – and taxpayers – would save money.” With this type of poor mentality; get rid of the take-home-cars and cost the City of Santa-Fe tens of millions of dollars. Did anybody catch the key word that is completely descriptive of the AJED? RADICAL! Radicals have no place in government.
Santa-Fe PD will have to purchase land at all police facilities, pave parking lots to park the officer’s vehicles, provide security, install showers and locker rooms, provide time for officers’ to dress out for work, etc… In lieu of this, the City of Santa-Fe would have to substantially increase officers’ wages and benefits in order for the officers to afford “Santa-Fe living.” The cost would be staggering. Before you suggest such rubbish, do your research and get the facts.
The only way to get a policy like this into place would require more money now and in the long run than what it is currently costing now. Santa-Fe needs to avoid the “good ol’ boy” routine and hire a competent Chief. Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.
The Eye felt that this needed to be addressed because our local cretins may get the same dumb idea again to modify our local policy.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes