ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, APD Forward released its in-depth analysis of the 203 page compliance report compiled by Independent Federal Monitor Dr. James Ginger late last year, which covers the first reporting period from February 1, 2015 through May 13, 2015. APD Forward also looked at the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD) self-report, and compared it to what the Independent Federal Monitor found. After independently examining both reports, APD Forward analysis shows APD is behind schedule in complying with reform requirements, especially where training and policy implementation are concerned.
“We are concerned that APD is approaching this reform as something it needs to dispose of as quickly as possible rather than as an opportunity to become the exceptional police department that Albuquerque deserves,” said APD Forward spokesperson Adriann Barboa, Field Director for Strong Families NM. “We hope that this first progress report serves as a wakeup call, and that APD will engage in the continuing reform effort with a renewed seriousness and commitment to excellence. With the safety of Albuquerque citizens on the line, APD simply cannot afford to approach it any other way.”
APD Forward’s analysis highlights several key areas where progress is lacking, and one area where improvements have been noted:
- According the monitor, APD has shown full compliance with only 4 of the 280 total requirements. In troubling contrast, APD reported that they believe they are in compliance with 119 of the 280 requirements.
- APD has still failed to produce a coherent and legally accurate use of force policy that is acceptable to the court monitor. This fundamental reform building block has bottlenecked further progress and frustrated the ability of supervisors to scrutinize use of force incidents in its absence.
- Policy creation as a whole is in a state of disarray, with most policies being poorly drafted, unorganized, and inadequate.
- Despite a few outstanding issues, APD has made some progress in meeting the requirements of the settlement agreement relating to the use of specialized units.
“If this report is any indication, a four year timeline for reform may be overly ambitious,” said APD Forward Spokesperson Peter Simonson, ACLU-NM Executive Director. “Most other cities that have gone through this process have taken at least seven years to achieve full compliance with a DOJ consent decree. This is not something we can cut corners with. This process has to be a deliberate and rigorous for real change to manifest in the APD.”