The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

May 1, 2007

APD Woes: What's Behind No Confidence Movement

As we told you recently, a group of young officers have forced the Albuquerque Police Officers Association to consider a vote of no confidence in Chief of Police Ray Schultz. As required by the APOA bylaws, the vote must take place after a 30 day "cooling off" period. So, that means the vote will be sometime this month.

Our Eyes have been taking a look into some of the complaints behind the move for a no confidence vote and found some expected things, some surprising things, and some truly alarming things. As expected, right at the top of the list is officer pay.

For years, Mayor Marty has been touting 1,000 officers over at APD. Just recently the Journal reported that "APD has 998 officers, including 18 part-timers." (Subscription Required) That was in the same article that reported APD's request for $1 MILLION for officer recruitment and retention. In the last Mayoral election manpower levels at APD became an issue with the administration claiming to have around 1,000 officers and Mayoral opponent and City Councilor Brad Winter claiming significantly less, particularly when looking at officers available to take calls. (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required)
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Is this really the message that APD wants to send to potential recruits? "Join APD and catch a bride!" What genius thought this up?
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Our Eyes tell us that right now, today the number of sworn officers that APD could put into the field in an emergency is just north of 800. That's everyone folks, including the chief himself. The Eyes have it that the 998 number mentioned by the Journal is everyone at APD including clerical staff. If you look at these numbers in light of the $1 MILLION supplemental request it's not hard to believe that the administration is playing fast and loose with manpower numbers.
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It's interesting to us to look back and see that APD seems to always magically have close to 1,000 officers, even when they have been faced with a record number of retirements and academy classes that have as few as 7 cadets.
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You're probably wondering what in the world does this have to do with the price of tea in China. One of the main complaints voiced by officers behind the no-confidence movement is pay inequity. The pay inequity that the officers are talking about is being created by the pressure to not only field 1,000 officers but to expand the force to Mayor Marty's 1,100 officers. It's the same pressure that caused APD to ask for $1 MILLION to throw at recruitment and retention.

Since APD is having trouble recruiting NEW officers they have put in place a series of incentives for retired officers to return to APD. These officers not only receive their retirement, but they receive a little more than $4,300 a year more than the same officer with the same rank and longevity (APD Benefits & Salary). Don't get us wrong, we don't think that rehiring experienced officers is not necessarily a bad idea; but when you have a system in place that
incentivizes return, then you have also created a system that incentives departure.

A patrolman 1st class with 20 plus years of experience makes $50,180 per year. If they wait and retire at 22 years and 10 months of service they will receive 80% of that pay equaling $40,144 per year. When they return they will earn $41,745.60 as a patrolman 1st class, jumping to $43,825.60 after 1 year. In other words, they will be making $83,969.60 per year. By retiring, they get a $33,789.60 raise. They'd be crazy not to retire, particularly since they've topped out in pay.

The rehire program is simply a stop-gap measure that only slows attrition. When you rehire a retired officer, you have a net gain of zero, better than a net loss but we're really incentivizing the wrong thing. Not to mention our Eyes tell us that senior officers have not received a pay raise in 10 years.

We've got an idea... Perhaps it's time that the city council and Mayor Marty get together and decide to pay all of the officer's better and incentivize continued service with additional benefits, instead of building arenas and giving HUGE tax breaks to developments like Mesa Del Sol and developer Forrest City Covington. After all, how can we have confidence in our businesses and our daily lives when we can't keep crime fighters on the street?

The bottom line here is that Mayor Marty and the council are responsible for police protection or lack thereof. It's their first responsibility. The very fact that this no confidence vote has been placed in motion should give us all pause; and it's a reflection not only on Chief Schultz but on the Chavez administration as well.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry APD advertising department, but as a woman, first of all I find your advertisement to be outright offensive. Secondly I also find this particular advertisemenet--though I realize that it was an attempt at being humorous--completely unprofessional. I would like to say that though I personally have NEVER encountered an APD police officer that did not behave in a professional and respectful manner, we are all well aware of the many allegations of unprofessionalism in your department whether justified or unjustifed. This advertisement not only "smaks" of sexism, but complete unprofessionalism. If you want professional officers for your department you might consider advertising in a way that reflects a professional department and leave the "humor" out of it. There is a time and a place for humor. The following comment is somewhat "tongue-in-cheek". Personally, I feel that our wonderful officers are grossly underpaid for the job the do. If they have to get "creative" to increase their pay to a level befitting the job that they do, far be it from me to complain. :)

Anonymous said...

pretty close to bullseye... you missed the fact that imposed discipline is up, the number of disciplinary actions overturned by the city labor board is up equally (re: inappropriate/unjustified witch hunts and punitive actions) crime is down(cops are working hard, encountering criminals who are solicited by Rowland to file complaints), and morale does not exist. When the disciplinary system is so out of order the officers have no faith that the administration either appreciates their efforts or will 'have their back.' Oh yea....that bride ad is completely embarrassing... How can one be proud of a police force that shows it's officers in such an unprofessional advertisement?

Anonymous said...

The vote of no confidence is a joke-it means NOTHING. APD needs to focus on public safety and understand that Chief Schultz is trying to clean up years of mismanagement by a group of unhappy womanizers, one DV offender, and a pervert. The destruction they left behind by their deveant acts will impact APD for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

I believe that this article is right on the money with the way that it is presented. As for the last comment that said, "APD needs to focus on public safety . . ." I would argue that the reasons laid out for the vote of no confidence are issues of public safety. Lying about manning levels to keep the public ignorant of the problems. Increased and unjustified discipline leading to Officers just doing the bare minimum in order to avoid lawsuits and firing. Poor pay that keeps recruitment down. Granted, not all of these things are under the control of the Chief, but for him to smile on Channel 4 and say that everything is peachy and the city has never been safer, . . . well, does that instill confidence????

Anonymous said...

I think the city hit a home run with this add campaign. They used a par idée of an incident that brought national attention to our city. I say ‘big deal’ we can’t change the fact that it happen here. I see nothing wrong with getting a little mileage out of it. In addition they used one of the best looking officers I have ever seen in uniform, this alone got my attention. Isn’t that the idea behind advertising?

Anonymous said...

"In addition they used one of the best looking officers I have ever seen in uniform, this alone got my attention." A bit of a "sexist" comment on your part don't you think??

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting on the vote of no confednece for chief shultz. yes these are a few of the reasons why the officers are doing this vote, also it needs to be considered. chief shultz is punishing officers for things that don't need to be punished that severly he is firing any officer who's name hits the media. chief shultz is in consistent with his punishments that he hands out. (case in point next article ref to ben kirby.) chief shultz violates officer rights to explain their actions of what really happen and, then is quick to punish them before the process is complete, then when it brought to his attention he says that the paper mis quoted him. the union has paid out approximately 77,000 dollars in attorney fees in the past several months. alot of the punishment handed down is to severe. to the point that officers are afraid to work and do anything to try and prevent crime. this is why officers are retireing sooner not wanting to stay on for a few more years. And wanting to leave, the other reason why we can't retain officer is because they get no support from the higher ups. what reasonable thinking person would want to face the scrutny of constant law suits, the pressure of arresting several DWI's a month. then getting days off without pay for missing court because they are too tired to go because they've been up all night taking calls for service. Because its up to the officers to prosecute these offenders, and they have to be to every setting when in reality they only need to be there for the pretrial and trial the da can do the rest. but that will never happen instead of getting new legislature to make that happen they spend millions on new numbers and marketing for numbers that were already there. is this helping the problem? there is a list of problems that everyone sees. then the administration wonders why we can't get and keep officers. people have figured out that you can make a lot more money sitting at a desk doing nothing. it doesn't take a four year degree to figure out what would be better. This dire situation that we have here in this city with the crime level, and not enough officers out on the street to combat this, citizens should worry and make their elected city counsel members and mayor understand that the citizens mean buisness. Its time that the citizens and Police officers in this city to stand up to the "old ways" of doing things and make these elected officals pay for what they are doing. (sidenote. the officers who introduced the "vote of no confidence" were not young offciers on the department. they've been around long enough to see that the chief and the mayor are wrong for this city.) just to let everyone know who is reading this blog, the chief has told the leaders of our union that he will do what he wants to get new officers, and punish the officers the way he wants. chief shultz has repeatedly said to these officers that he is not afraid of the union because our president does not have the backing of the union. chief shultz has also said to them that he will violate contract, and just do what he wants, he said by the time we file our lawsuits and the officers that he has fired will get their jobs back, this will all be done by the time that he is gone. january 2009 can't get here soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Here, Here ! Let's all hire a bunch of blood sucking lawyers & sue to bring back the fired officers! Yeah, let's put Bob Davis & Matt Griffin back in uniform on the streets too. What a moron......Are you really allowed to breathe the same air as the rest of us? That's the real crime here.....

Anonymous said...

Having just moved here from San Francisco I can tell you what I'm hearing now is what I heard back there two years ago. The cops had so many layers of oversight I think they said screw it and quit being proactive all together. Now San Francisco is in the midst of ever increasing crime and violence. Given that it seems this place in the midst a gang war I wonder what air YOU'RE breathing??? This place is on the edge of being one of the coolest places to be...let the officers do their job so we can be at peace!!!!

Anonymous said...

You named Bob Davis and Matt Griffin. That's two out of how many?
What the problem is, is that all these new supervisors, Chief's etc do is come in and want to clean up the department. So instead of starting at the top down, they start from the bottom up. Trust me, it's not the bottom that is the problem, it starts with the management, and if the previous managment was bad, doesn't it stand to reason that the people that he would surround himself with would be the people that would protect him? It's not the troops, it's the supervisors. They can blame it on the peons if they want, but what power do they have? Compared to the management? This is not rocket science......

Anonymous said...

The Ad was cool. Cops here are quite well compensated. Though pay is mentioned, they never talk about their additional income in the form of clothing allowance and take home car. How many of you non-police folks get clothing allowance, take home car, 80% pensions with a mere 20 years service reagardless of age??? Do the math - it adds up to a pretty substantial "Salary". :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah you're right, they do have a pretty substantial salary. It's so enticing that they had a whole graduating class of 7 or 8 out of the last class. People are just knock'n down the door to sign up and get a hold of that substantial salary!!!

Anonymous said...

And the take home car does nothing but make your house a target for every little gangbanger/tagger/vandal in the city. Do you have any idea what the stats are for incidents involving police cars? How many were shot last year? Burned? Rocks through the windows? And that's just the car that is the target, sometimes, it's the house, the pets, the children or the spouse.
Not to mention that people want to kill you everyday, you can't even stop to get a burger without worrying that someone has spit in it, or worse, and you do all this because going in, you thought you could make a difference. You thought you could make the community a better place for your children. You wanted to help.
All that gets beat out of you pretty quick, not by the public but by the administration of the department.
The public just tolerates you when they are not trying to kill you. At least you know where they are coming from, and you can trust them to always be the same, it's the management you gotta watch.
And all this plus an ulcer or a heart attack and a retirement that you can't live on, in a city you can't stand.

Anonymous said...

Pleeezzze, cut the poor me crap. You wouldn't quit that job if you had another looking you in the eye. The take home car program is not required, take to the station & turn it in, then you don't have to worry about people not liking you. If you signed up so people would like you, you need to quit today, yupp quit. Turn your shit in and go get a job delivering flowers if you are so concerned about people liking you...Grow up

Anonymous said...

Cops don't care if people like them or not, the old saying is that if you want people to be glad to see you coming, be a fireman. LOL.
What the poster seemed to be saying was that they take alot of shit just for being a cop, which they expected, but they would also expect their management to back them instead of being part of the problem. That really sucks when you get it from all directions.

Anonymous said...

if that's your answer to everything is to quit? What kind of person would you be? cops aren't quitters that's why we made through the process and you never could. besides if we quit with only 7 cadets coming out and 20 or so in the next class who would replace us? maybe we should quit so people here would learn. maybe that's what this city needs.
to that mechanic.... your tools are a write off on your taxes, so stop crying...

Anonymous said...

Shit, I've got uniform shirts older than you, class 49. I did my time in an APD Uniform (22 Years to be exact) & retired. I never complained, I did my job, did it well. You have so much more than we ever did. We had pool cars, no take homes, if you wanted a vest you bought it yourself. No Detective units, we did our own investigations and typed on typewriters full supp outs 50-100 pages on all Felonies. No cages, we put the 16's in the front seat with us enroute to BCDC, no PTU. And we did it all because we loved it....not for the money, certainly not the $5.19 p/hr I was getting when I carried my model 10 with my loop loader & 12 issued 38 rounds. Grow up & do your job or get the hell out!

Anonymous said...

Dude, you missed the point. The point was that it's not the job that sucks, it's the management. Although the job sucks pretty hard too. And class of 49? Back in the good ol days when you could just beat someone's ass and get away with it. And you had the backing of your management. That was just the way things were done. Now you have your ass handed to you for a license plate cover, like you were trying to hide from the red light cameras, when they failed to mention that it would do you no good because your unit number is on the back for all to see.
So yeah, the job is still there, but it's not the same job. You are from back in the day when everyone took care of each other, and morale was high, and there were the 3M parties, and DWI never happened to a cop because they'd take your ass home. And your management was right there with you, covering your ass because they knew then, that the troops was what made them look good, not the other way around. It wasn't all this fucked up backstabbing, political, kiss ass job that it is today.

Anonymous said...

I left APD over its gross mismanagement. Officers are afraid to work too hard bcause *gasp* some whiney citizen got their little feelings hurt. Officers care more about their own careers than whether or not their brothers go home alive at the end of the night. I wanted to be a cop since I was FOUR, but no longer.

Also, Albuquerque is about the most uneducated, rudest place I have ever been.

I'm going back to school.

Anonymous said...

Can't blame you a bit there, get a job that you can go home from with some self respect, and not a sore ass at the end of the day from getting bent over....good luck in your endeavors....