Thursday, June 21, 2007

Armed Albuquerque Public Schools police force costly, estimate reveals

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By Susie Gran, Albuquerque Tribune
Thursday, June 21, 2007

An armed school police department with patrol cars and higher wages will cost Albuquerque Public Schools an additional $1.8 million.

That's the estimate being provided on June 21 to the Community Safety Commission, a group that will propose changes to the district's police force to Superintendent Beth Everitt.

The estimate was prepared by Chief Business Officer Bill Moffatt, who cautioned the district would have to keep police salaries competitive with local law enforcement "which could provide a potential drag on funding to schools."

Moffatt said the current district budget for school police and campus security is $5.2 million.

The commission is considering several options: contracting for law enforcement services with local police agencies; upgrading the current school police force; turning the school police into an unarmed security department or contracting with a security agency.

Everitt is seeking recommendation for reorganizing school police in the wake of a critical audit and the ouster of School Police Chief Gil Lovato.

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