Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rebuild APD

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.


Bubba Muntzer said...

Community policing is the only way to have policing. They should be able to find someone who has some ideas about how to get from here to there, who has done that kind of thing.

The "fresh new innovative leaders" you mention will have fresh, new and innovative ideas, new approaches and ways of doing things. They will have done things differently. It's hard to substitute for the hands on experience people have, of actually having done things differently.

The council and mayor might be able to foster that kind of thing in an insular grouping like the police by sending some of the officers to seminars and conferences and things like that, and having them go and observe police forces that are working well, but for that to happen the mayor and council have to be more engaged in the situation than just putting out statements in reaction to things happening. This is not unusual though. Governments tend to let police tell them what kind of policing they should have.

This guy who wrote this memo sounds like he listens to Republican talk radio. Republicans never take responsibility for anything, they just deny, deny, deny, and then finger point, and that has to filter out into society at large.

KRQE had an article about how they review police shootings here.


They take it before some kind of fake grand jury, designed to let the police off. That surely contributes to the kind of attitude this area commander has, when the police essentially operate in an atmosphere of impunity.

Anonymous said...

APD needs someone at the TOP that doesn't OWE anyone anything... And that person can only come from out of state... There is WAY TOO much a** kissing within the higher up's and the morale down the line is really horrible.. There are a heck of alot of great hard working APD officers and civilians but no one is recognized until they do something wrong... APD needs to clean house starting from TOP. There needs to be more officers in the field and not so many in useless units inside were spots are given because he/she has something on someone.