Albuquerque Public School Cops Call in Sick

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Most of the police officers of the Albuquerque Public School (APS) district did not show up for work on Aug. 17, but then reported for duty in the mid-morning after having second thoughts about the impact their absence would have on student safety.

The apparent sick-out was to protest APS’ board of education’s refusal to allow officers to carry firearms 24/7, as well as its unwillingness to provide them with a pay raise. According to the Albuquerque Tribune, the protest was not union-sanctioned and the acting police chief was not warned about the planned absence of 26 officers.

The police union’s contract has a no-strike clause, so some officers may be disciplined for violating the district’s sick leave policy.

Currently, district police officers are allowed to carry guns before and after but not during school hours. Officers want to be armed around the clock. Also, APS officers make $12 per hour, which is $7-$9 less per hour than their city and sheriff counterparts. Both of these issues have resulted in many officers resigning from the department.

In response to the absence, approximately 20 city police and sheriff’s officers on desk assignments were assigned to protect the schools.

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