Friday, April 11, 2014

After Taste

The after taste of the 2014 meltdown of APD is strong and it isn't good.  The feast leading up to it lasted 12 years or so with the training and flawed recruitment of police officers into a Marine Corp type department rather than a community police department.

But, we know this can be fixed and the Department of Justice has laid out a road map to use as guidance.  It is to bad they don't want to stick around and direct traffic.  One just doesn't get the feeling that Mayor Berry and  his inept new Chief have the capacity to do it them selves, nor does the City Council.  The new deputy chief they hired earlier in the week might be able to help, but he is immediately hamstrung from the fact that he is seen as an insider who retired from APD.  It is a difficult position for him to be in.

Former Mayor Marty Chavez ran an op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal this morning basically saying everything was fine at the department when he was Mayor.  He wrote that because so many people think that is when the department started it's decline.  The Journal added as postscript that said the college requirement for cadets was dropped in 1999 when I served as Mayor.  As I recall we dropped the degree requirement but still insisted on at least two years of higher education.  We had trouble recruiting and Chavez used that to say we were soft on crime when he ran against me.  No, we just wouldn't hire bad candidates.

So, we are now at a point when the only direction we can take is to make things better.  I have a feeling that the media will need to be a watch dog since DOJ has ducked out and there is no strong political leadership.  The media has done a good job on this issue.  I watched KRQE last night and have to say their coverage of the report from many angles was excellent.  The Journal has also done a great job on the news side, but of course their editorials have been focused on defending Mayor Berry.

There are still a lot of good officers in APD.  We depend on them and support them. They haven't let us down, but their leaders have let them down.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The abuse of Taser has me wondering about the $2,000,000 contract Taser received from Albuquerque in July 2013.

APD Chief Ray Shultz made sure this contract was signed before he retired. The biggest contract in Taser history. Then when Schultz started his early retirement leave (still a city employee on October 1 2013), Schultz went to work for,,,,,,,,,,,,,,TASER!

This violates city ordinance, state law and federal law (the Taser contract also involves federal grant money).

Yet the Mayor, City Council, District Attorney, NM Attorney General and the United States Attorney have refused to investigate this obvious kickback.

Maybe now that the DoJ used 7 pages of their damning report on APD to Taser abuse they will decide that the Tasergate kickback for Ray Schultz demands investigation.

If the DoJ is going to look at charging individual officers for criminal abuses, then they MUST investigate the leadership that caused it. They must investigate Tasergate and charge Ray Schultz for taking a kickback (high paying Taser job) for getting Taser the $2,000,000 city contract.

Hold the top people accountable and things will change. Only go after the lowest level and nothing changes.

Anonymous said...

Rescind Perry's #35,000 raise and Eden's $19,000 raise.

Neither is competent. For this much money there should be no learning curve. These two are way in over their heads and the City Council should rescind these pay increases.

Anonymous said...

I believe the family of Mary Han sued all of the leaders at APD including White, Banks, Schultz and Rob Perry. Seems to be that they were advocating for this long before anyone else.

Anonymous said...

The council must rescind Eden's and Perry's pay increases.

Anonymous said...

Chavez's letter never mentioned your name and put no blame on you and who you hired. The Journal still could not resist a foot note poke at you on dropping the degree qualifications and noting Chavez used advertising and pay incentive to attract qualified people as if there was anything wrong with that. Face the facts that you are both Hispanic, the Journal dislikes you both to an equal degree, and the Journal is still trying to cover for MIA Berry by rewriting history. Do not let your dislike for Chavez blind you to the Journal's tactics. You were both far better Mayors than this clown Berry will ever be, but you both are just not the right political party nor the right ethnicity for the Journal.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I just read the op-ed yo refer to, in which the former mayor says such things as:

"I’m proud the show came to our city during my tenure as mayor."

"I’ve chosen a dignified silence..."

How can you even take someone seriously who is so baldly, immodestly, pathetically self promoting? Marty is back and still a jackass.



At the APD hiring web site, on the benefits and salary page:

http://www.apdonline.com/benefits.html

it lists as a benefit "Tuition Assistance and Educational Leave". It also lays out how having a degree significantly increases your salary.

Such benefits are typical of government workers who collectively bargain, and for union police departments, as APD is.

An assistant chief at the Texarkana, TX, police department told me he had a degree. I asked what in. He said, "General Studies."

So he might have taken classes that interested him, or were easy, only to increase his salary. Who knows? Like at APD, his classes were paid for.

Any education is apt to favorably affect human development. Knowledge will likely lessen small minded thinking, prejudice, and increase self esteem.

But as far as cops not being thugs, things like education, who the leaders are, what the training is, who the mayor is, while they all may play a role in determining whether a cop is going to be a thug or not, the overriding factor is society.

When a cop walks down the street, what does he or she think his or her role is? What is expected of them?

Look at it this way. You may have an education, and not be a thug, but it's not the education that makes you use manners and be genteel so much as it is the kind of people you associate with - the norms of your society, its shared beliefs about what appropriate behavior is.

On the street, everyone's a punk and a thug. That's your peer group. That's who you play to. You can be educated and be a thug. You can be trained in something, come from a respectable family, and be a thug. George Orwell's "Down and Out in Paris and London" is the classic demonstration of how a personal devolution takes place when someone finds themselves in a meaner and more desperate set of conditions.

Society is very fractionalized, in that when you walk down any street, or into any office building, you very rarely speak to strangers or engage them in any way. Most people don't even make eye contact in public. In that context, in that kind of overall society, police play a psychological role. Furthermore, society holds the cop up as some kind of heroic archetype. Every criticism of police comes with the qualifier that there are lots of "good cops" - despite the fact that these good cops are who make up the society of police.

When society decides it wants to be kinder and gentler, it will be. When society decides US wars of aggression must cease, they will. When society decides to live under a different system, where cooperation is better than competition, aggression and violence will diminish at all levels of society, and when society decides it doesn't want thugs for cops, it won't tolerate them, or reward thuggish behavior.

Anonymous said...

Ask Richard Berry and the only hope for APD and the City of Albuquerque is middle aged white men. With a community as different as ours why are the only people Berry is bringing in, or promoting, white men in their 50's and 60's?

Don't you think we need some people of color? Or god forbid,a woman! Does Berry even know there are women of color who do more than low level jobs?

The problem is Berry and his old man white view of Albuquerque.