So, what's wrong with that? Well, for one thing it's a direct violation of APD's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Police officers of any rank can not be involved in advocating policy while in uniform. They certainly can't be used to mount a campaign to promote policy on behalf of the Chavez administration. The following email was sent to neighborhood leaders by APD Captain Murry Conrad:
From: MurrayConrad@cabq.govTake a look at the Subject line... it reads, "Fw: Mandatory Attendance". Obviously, Captain Calloway simply forwarded the email from Deputy Chief Callaway. The DC is making Councilor Winter's Town Hall Meeting mandatory for his senior officers. Further, they are to "reach out to [their] neighborhood constituents in favor of the program and solicit their attendance."
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 10:26 AM
Subject: Fw: Mandatory Attendance
The red-light cameras are doing enforcement at high crash intersections where we can't have officers 24/7. Crashes are down 8% in Albuquerque. I would like your support to keep the red-light cameras as they are in the current plan.
I received an e-mail from the Deputy Chief asking that we attend the City Council meeting Tuesday, March 6, from 5pm to 7 pm.
I will need each of you in attendance at the Town Hall mtg tomorrow night (Tuesday, March 6) from 1700-1900 hours at the City Council Chambers ref the Red Light cameras. Also, if you can reach out to your neighborhood constituents in favor of the program and solicit their attendance as well. I will be in Santa Fe tomorrow regarding this matter but should be back in time for this as well.
Thank you for your support.
Deputy Chief of Police, Michael Callaway
Unless Captain Conrad is working the night shift, he was on duty when this email was written. Further, he used his city email address.
§ 3-1-21 POLITICAL ACTIVITY.Seems pretty clear that Deputy Chief Callaway is using his position to influence support of an issue and thereby hoodwink the general public into believing that every police officer shares that view.
No employee shall participate in the following types of political activity:
(A) Using his or her position or employment with the city to influence support of other officials or employees of the city for or against any candidate or issue or political action committee or other similar organization in any election or pre-election activity; provided, however, that nothing herein shall deny the right of an official or employee of the city to express his or her views on any issue.
One thing is absolutely certain; Mayor Marty is circling the wagons around his red light cash cow and won't give it up easily.