The memo to neighborhood leaders by an Albuquerque Police Department Area Commander that says everyone but police are responsible for the police shootings truly indicates there is an atmosphere at APD that calls for a massive rebuilding of the organization. It certainly shows an 'us versus them' attitude.
It must start with a new leadership in the upper ranks and a better police training curriculum. Certainly, we have fine officers but there is such an arrogant view by many other officers that something must be done.
I can remember when I brought a new police chief on board after being elected Mayor in 1997. I did a nationwide search rather than opt for just automatically picking from within the department. I hired an outsider, Jerry Galvin, and he stayed in the job for four years. He instituted community policing and made the force accountable for its crime prevention and crime solving in weekly meetings. He was unpopular with some in the department only because he was an outsider. When Marty Chavez came back into office he reverted to using insiders to lead the department. Mayor Berry has continued with Chavez's leadership, much to my surprise.
It is time to change out the old guard at the department and bring in fresh new innovative leaders from other places. It is the only way we can fix the mistrust that is growing between citizens and the officers who serve them.