ALAMOSA — The Alamosa City Council approved the first reading of Ordinance 2-2021 on Wednesday night. Ordinance 2-2021 amends the police and city employee pay plan by adding a Police Apprentice position.
The recommended position, Police Apprentice, would begin at Grade 7, two grades below Police Officer at Grade 9. Approval would allow the department to bring on cadets at a lower level then possibly, reclassify them to Police Officers.
If a cadet does not pass the exam within a certain time frame, their employment will cease.
“I refuse to lower my standards. I think the community deserves to have trustworthy officers that are dependable and reliable”, said Alamosa Police Chief Ken Anderson.
The proposal would allow the city to get a jump start on background checks as well as the 16 week necessary Field Training Officer (FTO) program.
It would also allow apprentices to shadow an officer without a gun or badge. Apprentices would gain valuable experience seeing officers testify in court, learning to write reports, assisting in traffic accidents and much more.
Municipalities have noticed a decline in the number of individuals interested in law enforcement.
As applicant numbers have decreased, communities like Alamosa are hard-pressed to attract and retain law enforcement.
“It is a nationwide issue that’s going on, this is not just Alamosa PD (Police Department)” said Anderson.
A problem exacerbated by the fact that Alamosa currently has four vacancies in their police force which has been further thinned by two injuries pushing the total to 6.
Alamosa also faces competition from larger communities for applicants. The main local recruiting pool being Trinidad State Junior College’s (TSJC) Police Academy.
It was also stressed that just like any other job, applicants would be free to take all that experience and use it to join on a force elsewhere.
The measure passed without opposition and was cleared for a public hearing on Feb. 3. For more information be sure to visit the City of Alamosa website.