Under pressure over its policy of paying officers involved in shootings, the Albuquerque Police Officers' Association said Thursday that it was ending the practice, reports the New York Times. Those opposed to the payments had characterized them as bounties since the practice was revealed last week by the Albuquerque Journal. The announcement was made at a news conference with Mayor Richard J. Berry and the police chief, Raymond D. Schultz,who said they ppposed the payments. “I feel very strongly that the practice of cash payments needed to stop, and I am very pleased that the union has made this decision,” Berry said.
The Journal reported that 20 Albuquerque police officers involved in shootings in 2010 and 2011 received payments from the police union of either $300 or $500. A written statement from police union president Joey Sigala said the payments were to cover some expenses for officers who have been involved in “critical incidents” and their families “to find a place to have some privacy and time to decompress outside the Albuquerque area.”