"APD Forward" Campaign Launched

Community-driven campaign will press for sustainable APD reforms

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 9, 2014

 

CONTACT: Micah McCoy, (505) 266-5915 x1003 or mmccoy@aclu-nm.org

 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, Albuquerque community leaders and a broad spectrum of New Mexico-based organizations announced the launch of the APD Forward campaign, a community-driven effort to hold the City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) accountable for implementing reforms of the city’s police department. APD Forward will serve as a powerful, targeted platform for Albuquerque communities to press for sustainable reforms of APD policies and procedures.

 

“The time has come for communities across the city to join together in pressing for crucial reforms so APD officers can safely and responsibly protect the people of Albuquerque,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “This is our best opportunity in decades to move the APD and our city forward so that the people of Albuquerque can believe in their police department again.”

 

In recent weeks, a Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation confirmed that longstanding deficiencies in oversight, training and polices have allowed a culture of aggression and a sense of impunity to thrive within the Albuquerque Police Department. APD officers frequently use excessive force against people who pose a minimal threat, including those who are unarmed or suffering from mental illness. To help fix these serious issues, the APD Forward campaign will use advocacy, community organizing, and public education to accomplishing the following four objectives:

 

  1. Achieve a court enforced agreement between the Department of Justice and the Albuquerque Police Department that ensures that the reforms we need are fully implemented.
  2. Obtain the appointment of a qualified, independent monitoring team to oversee compliance with the court-ordered agreement.
  3. Ensure that the City of Albuquerque dedicates adequate resources to fully fund the necessary reforms.
  4. Obtain sustained evidence that the City of Albuquerque and APD is complying with the reform agreement and taking real, concrete steps to address the problems uncovered by the Department of Justice investigation.

“Right now, many Albuquerque residents are justifiably angry that the political process has failed to bring about long overdue reforms to our police department,” said Strong Families Field Director Adriann Barboa. “The APD Forward campaign is dedicated to addressing the systemic problems within our police department that were highlighted by the Department of Justice. These problems are daunting, but we know they can be fixed if we work together.”

 

For more news and campaign updates, visit APD Forward online at www.APDforward.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/APDforward, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/APDforward.


APD Forward Partners

 

Organizations

Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless

American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico

Disability Rights New Mexico

Equality New Mexico

La Mesa Presbyterian Church

League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico

National Association of Social Workers – New Mexico Chapter

Native American Voters Alliance

New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Strong Families

 

Individuals

Fabrizio Bertoletti – former Police Oversight Task Force member

Rev. Susan Allison-Hatch – Missionary to the Homeless, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande

 

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  • commented 2014-07-05 19:38:07 -0600
    I have been wondering if the City Council or any individual Council members have
    made any response to this effort. As this is a crisis in City government it would
    seem to be the responsibility of the legislative branch of city government to participate
    in dialogue with citizens or constituents and ultimately to craft some policy aimed at improvement.
  • commented 2014-06-22 16:00:08 -0600
    I am very glad to see a community-based, civil society organization developing to monitor the transformation that needs to take place in the Albuquerque Police Department. An actively engaged, broadly-based community presence will be important to make sure that a reform momentum is developed and keeps moving forward. There are ways to facilitate community members bringing their concerns forward in a supported environment. We need to build a civil society structure parallel to and interconnected with whatever official reform processes are developed between the city and the Justice Department.