PERALTA — The Town of Peralta is trying to help Bosque Farm increase police officer pay and retention.
The Peralta Town Council agreed to pay Bosque Farms an extra $18,520 for police services for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The amount is in addition to the $230,000 contracted for Bosque Farms to provide law enforcement for Peralta for the year.
“This is for pay increases for officers,” said Peralta Mayor Bryan Olguin. “They have not had a significant raise in years.”
“It will also help with retention of officers,” said Bosque Farms Police Chief Paul Linson. “It will help make us more competitive in pay with comparable departments.”
Like most small police departments, Bosque Farms struggles to keep trained officers from being lured away by higher salaries in bigger departments. Earlier in the meeting, Linson told councilors that his department had just reached full staffing for the first time in a long time.
Town Treasurer Steve Robbins said Peralta has the money for the increase this year and has already budgeted to maintain it next fiscal year.
Linson also reported that half his officers just completed active-shooter training and the other half will complete it soon. He said Bosque Farms and Los Lunas will also participate in joint officer training, which will include active-shooter scenarios.
The chief is particularly happy to report that the state Crime Stoppers system is now fully tied in with Bosque Farms, so people can send tips to the department from anywhere in the state by phone, email or the P3 cell phone app that can be downloaded.
“We’ve been getting a ton of tips,” he said. “We even had someone in Rio Rancho spot a guy we’ve been looking for for weeks and contact us through Crime Stoppers.”
In other action at the Feb. 26 meeting:
• Councilors narrowed to three the potential bids for architectural and engineering services for the proposed multi-generational center. Olguin said 10 companies responded to the request for proposals, but that some of them were “out there” with a wide variation in fees.
Town officials will now meet with the three finalists to make sure everyone is on the same page about the project. And, Olguin promised, “There will be public input on this before it moves forward.”
• Councilors approved several budget resolutions designed to properly align revenue and expenses for multiple road projects.
• Councilors approved the language of a job posting for a part-time code enforcement officer after removing language requiring the successful candidate to serve as flood plain coordinator.
• Olguin requested a future council discussion item concern town trash services. He said three companies currently serve the town with different fees, schedules and services, and the council might want to consider at least some standardization in those areas if it doesn’t want to go to a single supplier.