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

Aug 1, 2008

Doing it Again

It looks like there are problems down at APD's Evidence Room... again. Over four years ago APD was rocked with allegations that evidence stored at the facility was being mishandled and/or lost (presumably right out the back door)(ABQ Journal - Subscription). Humorously, then AG Patricia Madrid determined that there wasn't enough "evidence" to prosecute (and you wonder why she lost the last election).

APD's Evidence Room is the repository for evidence taken from a crime scene or as part of a criminal investigation. Evidence held at the facility can be just about anything from drugs and money, to TVs and computers. The Evidence Room not only stores all of the evidence collected by the Albuquerque Police Department but also any evidence collected by BCSO. When evidence is lost, so too are the cases that they are associated with.

Our Eyes tell us that just recently the DA's Office was forced to drop several drug cases because the evidence room had "lost" the methamphetamine seized in the investigation. In addition, our Eyes tell us that the situation down at evidence has degraded to the state that it was when the scandal first broke four years ago. Of course it's not like this is a new problems. We told you about one of the problems just over a year ago (read it here).

To make matters worse, the sloppiness over at evidence seems to have moved next door to the crime lab - APD's CSI. According to our Eyes the over-worked unit has been cutting some corners procedurally speaking that could result in the lab's results being challenged. The concern in 5th Floor circles is that a defense attorney will discover the procedural shortcuts and have their client's convictions thrown out. If even one conviction is overturned, you can bet that any criminal convicted using evidence processed at the crime lab will be challenged (as it should be).

Cutting corners is not an option in forensic science. It undermines the credibility of the findings. If the crime lab is truly overworked then we need to add the necessary personnel and facilities to handle the load. Allowing a criminal to go free because of a procedural error is unacceptable - and so is convicting someone who's innocent based on faulty science.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, APD Lab continues to have some issues. Recall years ago when the DNA person, don't know if she is a scientist, stated during her testimony that she 'mis spoke' on the DNA evidence in the Mike Garcia trial. Mike Garcia was a former APD Seargeant. The DNA person is still employed but defense attorneys LOVE her. The APD Lab has lost a lot of credibility and no one has taken any steps to fix the problems.

Anonymous said...

FYI- Evidence was in no way responsible for losing the methamphetamine that you mentioned. I would advise to check your sources before you make accusations such as that.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the APD Crime Lab Director tell the media "the judge made a mistake"????

WTF, is that your response???

Time for a new Director, in fact, replace the Chief too. They probably drink beer together and laugh at the judges.

Anonymous said...

The administration at the lab is a joke. Didn't the director tell the media "the judge made a mistake"?

WTF, How the hell can someone in the forensic field make a comment like that.

Time for a new Director...in fact replace the Chief as well. They probably drink beers together and laugh at the judges.

Anonymous said...

Who's in charge of the crime lab? What are his/her qualifications??

Does the mayor appoint that person?

Time for some serious questions.

Anonymous said...

Revamp the entire evidence lab!!! You have Officer's that have been there for 10, 15, 18 years and have obviously stagnated. Have them return to the field and renew their attitudes as Cops. Allow others the opportuites to experience the "CSI" aspect of policing. It's a simple solution,you have someone in the same position for to long and they stagnate without realizing it....look at city, county and state government. This is the reason New Mexioc is in the state that they are in. Mandatroy rotation would infuse some new blood and cross train the majority.

ched macquigg said...

As long a public servants are allowed/expected to regulate themselves; there will be these kinds of results.

Why isn't every aspect of public service independently audited every year for process, product, and personnel.

The total cost would be a very small percentage of the cost of public service and would yield dividends far in excess of the cost of audits (in particular if the business model was designed to accommodate and prepare for the auditing)

Right now, stakeholders have no idea how much corruption and incompetence their is in the administration of public schools (or public safety)and will never know, because public servants, (like the leadership of public school systems) can simply refuse to be audited.

The tail is wagging the dog.

Annual accountability audits for public service, as a matter of course.

Anonymous said...

Let me break it down for you all. APD has NEVER had a lower moral than it has now. Officers from every rank and file are simply disgusted with the 5th floor and their lack of respect towards officers. THEY (5th floor) have created an atmosphere of retribution and fear to do our jobs (don’t believe me, ask ANY officer off the record). Officers don’t respect Sergeants, Sergeants don’t respect Lieutenants, Lieutenants don’t respect the Commanders and the reverse is the same. There used to be a Brother-in-blue philosophy of watching out for each other. THEY have disintegrated this into a culture of COVER YOUR ASS at all costs, creating a department of DISTRUST. NOW what does this mean to the citizens, (no we’re not just a bunch of whiners)- it means we don’t give a shit about your stupid problems when we have a daily struggle with our own screwed up department. Don’t believe for a second that we have this higher moral authority that we swore to the badge to protect the public… After all we are only human. You are going to see MORE and MORE problems with APD because their officers simply don’t give a shit because they are being treated like shit. Thanks Shultz and Calloway, hope you’re happy with this pathetic legacy!

Anonymous said...

This is going to be Marty's downfall. If he can't fix the crime lab no one is going to trust him with being able to deal with downtown criminals. Maybe the BCSO should start their own crime lab and take over APD's lack of ability.

The defense attorneys must be watering at the mouth over this one. One drug case goes, they all go.

Anonymous said...

The crime lab was much better 10 years ago. Seems like since they moved from the main, they've lost something.

Anonymous said...

Why blame Madrid? APD evidence lays in the jurisdication of DA Brandenburg. Where was she on this scandal? Did she look into anything? No, once again she refuses to examine corruption.

ched macquigg said...

Help me make the leadership of the APS submit to a full scale forensic audit.

When the precedent is established,

we can demand an impartial audit of the Police Department,

and then we can demand an impartial audit of the Mayor's office;

and the city council,
and the county commission,
and the state legislature.

We can demand an annual full scale forensic audit of every tax dollar that is ever collected.

We can insist upon accountability to standards which do not permit corruption, incompetence, or the practices that enable them.

It has to start somewhere. It makes senses to attack at Achilles heel, a relatively powerless band of eight public servants who not only refuse to be audited, but refuse to explain, defend, deny, or even acknowledge their refusal.

This no way for "servants" to behave.

The terms of public in-servitude are the prerogative of the public, not of the public servant.

The reform could start as early as next Wednesday,

and all you have to do is show up at a board meeting.

We don't have to accept incompetence and corruption as an integral aspect of public service.

We can demand honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence in public service.

And all you have to do is show up.

Anonymous said...

Why should anybody trust anyone? ..... That is what we have been asked to do concerning our neighbors, isn't this the Albuquerque (and New Mexico) way? ... Seems I have read something about this by an author named George Orwell .... (1984?)

Anonymous said...

"And all you have to do is show up."

That's the understatement of the century. Nobody cares, get over it.

Anonymous said...

Ray Schultz's best friend runs the crime lab. He was hand picked by Ray for the job, but they are best friends.

Ray is just killing this dept with his appointments and decisions. Ray will also be this Mayor's down fall for the next election!

Anonymous said...

What case was dropped?

Anonymous said...

Ok, first of all, the evidence unit is comprised mostly of underpaid civilians. Does anyone know that? Cops are not stealing like the public would like to believe, it is the civilians. Furthermore, the crime lab is just fine, as far as the detective side of it goes. the crap you all are referring to, again, is the civilian side, the DNA side. The detectives do an outstanding job and as far as sending back veteran detectives in Criminalistics back to the field? are you an idiot? why would you take that expertise out of that unit to put them in the field? that’s ridiculous. All the detectives have great cop attitudes and let snot forget the civilian aspects of it (fet’s, scientists) are the ones ruining the lab. Why they let anti-cop scientists run the show is beyond me. This is a police department, and that lab is a mess because there are too many civilians in it!

Anonymous said...

Cops are all corrupt and bullies, from the very top to the patrolman on the street. So to see the evidence room is again about to make news, in a negative way, does not surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone else.

Police officers should enforce the law and protect the citizens and not bend or twist situations to fit their own needs or feed their own egos. This happens throughout the department, by every officer, it just depends on the situation. So don't try to blame civilians for this mess, you guys consistantly screw each other every time a new contract comes up or if it serves your personal situation. You guys can't control your union or the Mayor, so the things you can control (the average citizen) you abuse and mistreat so bad that any support you hope to have is nowhere to be found.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call cops with University of Phoenix degrees an asset to the world of forensics.

Anonymous said...

Your Chief Schultz has a University of Phoenix degree. Well, that explains why your dept is so screwed up!

He was the one that was in charge of the evidence room when all the thefts starting taking place and now he is chief!

Looks like a pretty good pattern to me. Who hired this clown to lead APD!

Anonymous said...

I am a civilian and my qualifications exceed many in the police department already. The IQ at APD, and government leaders in general, is based on a lower curve rather than the 100% before adjustments were made. I just don't want the job. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You obviously don't have a degree AT ALL. Who made you the authority on judging schools and people because they decided to better themselves by getting a degree from University of Phoenix. People choose University of Phoenix and Webster, and Wayland because they have work and family obligations. Why do you think those schools are so successful? Too bad you can't think outside of the box, maybe you should go get a degree so you wouldn't type such ignorant comments.

Anonymous said...

Crime lab & evidence room -- totally different animals.
Eividence room issues were all civilian prolems - only issue that administration had was not firing those ladys out of there quicker.

Anonymous said...

They were probably all sleeping with one another so they can't fire them. That's all you have to do to get ahead in APD is sleep around.

Anonymous said...

Yes this IS the place where evidence is stored. It's also a place where certain people go to knock off a piece of ass. Just ask Gil and some other high rankers.
Gives new meaning to the word "Nooner"
But that's okay, there are hidden cameras now. (not officially)

Anonymous said...

3:46 post
Just as the APD brass did, you nailed it.

Anonymous said...

the evidence unit only shares a building with the crime lab, they have nothing to do with each other, other than they are in the same building.

Anonymous said...

In the same building screwing around

Anonymous said...

exactly, everyone is screwing everyone which is why nothing gets done right. one of the sgts was removed because he was having an affair with a secretary (although his wife worked in evidence). officers cant get anything tested in time for court, yet its like world war ii if something is inadvertently tagged wrong.

Anonymous said...

PAUL HEH FOR MAYOR!

Barbarossa said...

Dear Mr overqualified civilian;
I was an officer there for over 20 years, my IQ is a 157, I also had to finish a degree at a "night school" because I grew up in the
70s when poor white trailer trash like me did not get a single bit of assistance in education $ from anyone. I tried once in the late 70s and was told I could get some free Govt. stuff if "I had some kids". So seriously, the fact that these folks have a under grad degree from anywhere sets them apart from about 90% of NM. Not that many years ago we had a Lt Governor who was a HS dropout [Luna]. I submit that the majority of those here spouting how educated and brilliant they are compared to the poor dumb coppers are making a bunch of s**t up just to spout off.

Anonymous said...

IQ is nothing when you don't use it. Clearly the courses you took didn't include lessons on grammar. Your writing skill need some work.

Take your 157 IQ (I'm calling Bull S***) all the way to APD HR and ask them for a badge. Being an illiterate I'm thinking you aren't qualified for muc else.

Anonymous said...

11:23 post

"Your writing skill need some work." WOW

You obviously don't have a degree, and I would bet you have your GED, not even a high school diploma.

Good for you barbarossa! At least you did something for yourself unlike the upset person who didn't decide to educate themselves.

Commander Paul Feist, APD Evidence Division, Commander said...

The so-called “Eye on Albuquerque” is a forum where anyone can spew unfounded nonsense (hogwash) and claim that it is the truth; but when anyone hides behind anonymity his/her comments are obviously completely unreliable, and in many cases unworthy of a response.

However, I find it necessary to respond to one individual’s nonsense, not in an attempt to protect the integrity of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Evidence Room and Crime Lab, but to challenge the “fearless blogger” to identify him/herself and to provide substantiated proof of the “problems” at the APD.

This unnamed blogger has alleged that there are “problems down at APD’s Evidence Room . . . again.” Would this anonymous individual care to specify the exact problems to which he/she refers? The blogger claims that evidence was ”lost” and cases have been “dismissed”. I challenge that person to come forward with specific case numbers and types of evidence. The truth is that the Evidence Unit has lost NO evidence and NO case was dismissed due to the actions of the Evidence Room employees.

Your “EYES” tell you “the situation down at evidence has degraded to the state that it was when the scandal first broke four years ago.” This too is simply not true. Your “Eyes” are completely unaware of the fact that, in reality, the Evidence Room is a nationally recognized example of how an evidence room should be managed. The dedicated Civilian and Sworn employees of the Evidence Room toil relentlessly to meet and even exceed many of the national standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The personnel themselves undergo intense training and testing to ensure their competence. After attending a two-day seminar on Property Room Management, the newly trained evidence technicians work in the field for at least one year before they become eligible to take a certification exam. Upon passing the examination the evidence techs are certified as Property and Evidence Specialists by the International Association for Property and Evidence (IAPE).

How is the Lab’s science faulty? Please have your “Eyes” give us examples of how the science practiced at the APD Crime Lab has ever proven to be less than exemplary. Have your “Eyes” expound on how “the sloppiness over at evidence seems to have moved next door to the crime lab – APD’s CSI.”

Any individual or concerned organization, to include the webmaster, of this site, and blog contributors, along with the media, are welcomed to review each and every audit, independent or otherwise, that the APD has undergone to date. Also available for review are our policies, procedures, and inspections. These documents will reveal that the APD has nothing to hide and nothing for which to be ashamed. Furthermore, they will show that there is NO “problem again” in the APD Evidence Room nor is there one “brewing” in the Crime Lab.

The APD is also willing to engage in professional, informed discussions regarding any issue should any citizen have serious, substantiated concerns. Blogged, anonymous innuendos are not professional, they are not informed, they are not serious or substantiated, they resolve nothing, and perpetuate the vicious cycle of misinformation. The innuendos spewed on this website have served no constructive purpose. In fact the site has become a mere repository for mendacity.

Paul Feist, APD Scientific Evidence Division, Commander

Anonymous said...

Good job Paul, fight the cancer,

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Commander, think back when you were just a Patrollman. You know if a cop was to put their name on some of the stuff that is said here, we would be targeted. What are they going to do with you, nothing, Chief already tried that crap with Suazo and look what happened. Its funny you both worked in IA so I bet you have stuff, bad stuff on everyone so you 2 are untouchable. Sorry to compare you to Suazo, don't know if that is fair.

Anonymous said...

You can't compare anyone to Suazo, he is the only one who actually SPOKE up and didn't back down!

Anonymous said...

"... willing to engage in professional, informed discussions regarding any issue should any citizen have serious, substantiated concerns. Blogged, anonymous innuendos are not professional, they are not informed, they are not serious or substantiated, they resolve nothing, and perpetuate the vicious cycle of misinformation."

Hell, He's describing IA and IRO complaints that were investigated while he was the IA LT. Now that it applies to him it is unjust.

APD is doomed with the current leadership that has a philosophy of "do as I say, not as I do"

Anonymous said...

Way to go Paul, this blog tends to spew more rumors, bs, & flat out lies than can be counted.

Dont fall for the hype people, get your facts straight.

Since Chief Gallegos, Ann Talbot & Steve Guerra left APD, the crime lab and evidence departments have become extremely professional.

JF said...

Good job Paul - way to stand up.. thank you

Anonymous said...

give me a break. funny how opinions change once you are in charge. the evidence room is no better than it was with gallegos. just another follower of ray ray.... talking about how wonderful he is and how wonderful everything is....

Anonymous said...

Yea money !!!

Anonymous said...

Like it was said earlier, all cops are crooks or worse,it depends on their personal situatution. Commander Feist talks like he is different and is an honest guy, but ask him about all the traffic tickets and cases he fixes for friends and relatives. So if he says the evidence room is ok, don't believe it. APD and the Mayor fix everything and we're expected to take it at face value. That's how Daskalos was able to get away with his law breaking for so long. No difference! I dare him to come back on and deny he "fixes" things all the time. If he does he's a liar as well!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the commander should check to make sure his staff all have DL's.

Then and only then will he understand what I was talking about.

Marty is not going to be happy AFD, oops I mean APD. Amazing how many APD people are going to make the Sunday Journal.I guess El Paso is not the only place to visit on weekends!!! I invision a lot of desk duty coming up.

Anonymous said...

8-11-08 (10:05) post. What are you talking about? More info, please.

Anonymous said...

He/she means there are a lot of officers and civilians at APD who have been arrested for DWI in other towns (where they can't be fixed)Supposedly the Journal (or some other media outlet)is running the numbers.

The story is going to be that Chief (Sgt) Schultzie has no clue about it and will be caught with his pants down.

Anonymous said...

For the professional who seems so satified that Ann and Steve are gone....all they did was ask you to show up for work every now and then and not disappear on them when you did show. The whiners and complainers hardly ever show up for work and their management is usually asleep while they are absent. Some of these highly paid civilian "profesionals" at the lab can't even bear to put in an honest 40 hour week. Many of these lab civilians, not all, come in late, leave early and disappear to lunch for two hours. Their supervisors are usually asleep or off to who knows where. Wish I could be that overworked! You so called "pros" are a big part of the problem. Do you know what a work ethic is? You can't even get anyone to answer the phone over there! I hear that you are now once again free to roam where ever and when ever once again.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Anyone who thinks this is a sworn vs. civilian issue is simple minded. There are great 34's, and great civilians. Bad on both sides too. What a bunch of silly comments on this issue. Anyone who thinks 34 or civilians are exclusively trustworthy over the other needs to re-think their position.

As far as the work ethic in the lab goes, it is also not so simple. There are 34's with lax attitudes, and civilians with lax attitudes. There are 34's who wouldn't lift a finger unless they are on OT, and civilians who put in on call time and scene time without a slight bit of compensation.

I read Commander Feist's post. I agree with it. 100%. And to those in the Feild, shut your mouth unless you really know something first hand. You are a bunch of gossipping freaking 3rd grade girls. To those in the Lab (civilian and sworn), try getting out in the field to see what its like. No answers the phone over there? How can they be expected to be at your beck and call when they are in a lab examining evidence? That blogger should go back to Kindergarten. That's like a citizen whining because a 34 can't get to every call for service in 5 minutes.

To those who think the lab was better as a total sworn unit, get real. The lab is not there to "support" cops or DA's. It is there to conduct analysis for a wide variety of requesters. And it is best conducted as a mix of both.

Overall, besides the Commanders post, what a bunch of crap. Get to work.

Anonymous said...

Yes sir, dumb ass.but we're off duty!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard one of the Los Lunas 9 put a call into one of the crime lab detectives the night of the shooting....hmm.

I wonder why you would need to talk to a CSI guy for a suicide.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's about time to move the story about Sergeant Mike Garcia into an archive or remove it altogether? The man was acquitted of the lesser charge (tampering with evidence) and the hung jury that prevented his acquittal on the main charge (interfering with a minor girl) was because of one single holdout. Yet that same person voted to acquit Sergeant Garcia on the evidence tampering charge. It doesn't make sense. In addition, in cases in which a hung jury voted 11 to 1 it's generally understood there is something off with that single holdout -- and this applies whether the majority voted to convict or acquit. After his trial was over, the Albuquerque Police Department reinstated Sergeant Garcia -- gave him his job back. Had they believed he was guilty of sexual interference with a minor, never in a million years would they have done that. Cops, like prisoners, do NOT like sexual offenders who prey on children, even if it is one of their own. I am not a police officer, nor am I affiliated with any law enforcement agency or person. I consulted a police detective in a city nowhere near New Mexico for an opinion; that police department is not known for corruption, as are some law enforcement agencies in New Mexico.