Monday we told you about retired Officer Dennis Patrick and his attempt to return to APD through the department's rehire program (read it here). Suffice it to say Officer Patrick was denied rehire on some rather shaky grounds. In fact, recently rehired Captain John Robert DeBuck had a similar (if not worse) black mark on his record yet was rehired anyway.
One of the comments on the story caught our Eye. It was a story about another retired officer - Lieutenant Steve Tate - who applied for rehire not once but twice after being encouraged to do so by the officers placed in charge of two different departments. Lt. Tate had none of the financial difficulties evidenced by DeBuck or Patrick yet was denied both times.
We'll let Lt. Tate tell his own story but it's apparent to us that The 5th Floor's rehire policy is anything but consistent and seems to contain an extensive black list.
Retired APD Lt. Steve Tate Weighs In on Rehire Program
After reading and learning about Officer Patrick being turned down as a rehire, I felt the need to write this response as I may have indirectly impacted APD's decision in this matter. I was turned down on two separate occasions for positions as a part-time CSO during the past few months. I feel that my response to being turned down may have caused the department to more heavily scrutinize other rehires and deny them employment in an effort to masquerade their invalid reasons for denying me. Let me start by saying that I was only interested in these specific part-time positions because of the supervisors, the unit, and the ability to work around my current schedule of high school coaching and consultant training work. I was not interested in just coming back to APD in any capacity. Earlier this year I was asked to apply for a part-time CSO position in recruiting and Backgrounds by Sgt. Galindo with the blessing of Capt. Suazo. However, I was informed a week or so after filling out my application that I wouldn't be rehired because I "bumped" people off the list to attend the FBI National Academy and then retired a few months after attending the FBI Academy.
This reasoning given for not hiring me was very puzzling to me as the facts given were not accurate, and I do not understand how I could've ever had any input or power to "bump" people off any list since this decision rested solely with the Chief's Office and the FBI. The true facts are that I wrote a letter to then Chief Gallegos in 2002 requesting to be considered for the FBI Academy should any opportunities become available for lieutenants (as did many other lieutenants and captains). I later learned in December of 2003 that I was on a list and would be attending the FBI Academy in the Spring of 2005 (which I did). My retirement was effective on February 28, 2007. Because of these facts, the reasons given to for me not being hired for the Recruiting position made no sense and was not accurate.
Prior to turning in my first application to Sgt. Galindo, I informed him that due to my previous position as Academy Lieutenant, and my knowledge and involvement in the hiring and training processes, the Chief's Office may not want me conducting and presenting background investigations to the Chief's Selection Panel. Due to my position, I had been involved in Chief's selection processes where I voiced my opinion about the quality of candidates and whether or not they should be seated in academy classes. I also was aware of candidates that were previously denied for various reasons, being hired after my retirement. I told Sgt. Galindo that because of this, the Chief's Office may not feel comfortable having someone with that knowledge presenting candidates to them. After being denied, I felt that the awkwardness of that potential encounter was the likely reason.
I was later contacted in April of this year by Sgt. Ryan, of the Red Light Camera Unit, and asked if I would be interested in working with her. I advised her of my previous application denial and asked her to pursue it up her chain of command for their blessing. Sgt. Ryan advised me that Capt. Hetes approved it and would check with the Chief. However, I was later informed that they would not rehire me. The new reason given for me being turned down was now a simple "no", without any further explanation. The more I thought about this, the more it bothered me. I was being asked to help out units that had positions they needed filled and there was no valid reason to deny me. Based on my previous positions as a lieutenant in the Internal Affairs Unit and at the Police Academy, I was very aware of the hiring process and how backgrounds affected that process. However, there was nothing in my background that should eliminate me from being rehired with the Albuquerque Police Department. I was currently certified through the State through February 28th of 2009. I also knew the department was actively recruiting to reach its goal of 1100 sworn and that the part-time CSA/CSO positions (which are always counted for the numbers) are required to be filled by those already sworn (which I am).
On both occasions of my being asked to apply for these positions, I have had the blessings of the entire chains of command up to and including the Captain / Commander level. However, for some reason, someone in the Chief's Office had a problem with hiring me that appeared to be rooted in something other than my qualifications and background. Because of this, I sent an email to Chief Schultz on May 2, 2008 outlining these same issues I've explained here and asking him if I was being turned down due to any type of personal bias, discrimination, or retaliation, because without a valid explanation for these actions, it certainly appeared that I was not being treated fairly. However, I have never received a response to this date from Chief Schultz. So this wouldn't surprise me a bit if he refused to speak directly with Officer Patrick. After waiting a couple of weeks with no response, I sent an email to CAO Perlman explaining these issues. After receiving Perlman's response, it was clear he had no clue how the hiring process worked, let alone how the part-time CSA/CSO positions were being handled by APD. After explaining it again and clarifying some issues to him in a second email, I never heard from him again.
A few days after my email to Perlman, I learned that APD had setup a new policy for handling CSA/CSO applications. No longer would units contact people and ask them to put in for these part-time positions as they had in the past. This change would require them to apply at the city site for a general position and they would be assigned as needed once hired. Of course once hired, they will place the person where the need is. Anyone who works or has ever worked for APD knows what this really means. It's a way of discouraging those they don't want that are interested in certain positions, and ensuring they can take care of those they want to at the same time. I found it interesting and amusing that I was impacting policy after leaving the department.
I have also heard information that leads me to believe that Dennis Patrick would've most likely been hired if they weren't trying to make it appear that I wasn't being singled out. They know they had no valid reasons to deny me (only personal ones evidently) and if they were going to deny me, they better start denying some others that may have had some blemishes in their background...since they denied me and I have none......even if those blemishes wouldn't have disqualified them prior to me challenging my denials. Because of this , I feel sorry for those like Dennis that have gotten caught up in this charade. As for bankruptcy being an issue, I am aware of both cadets and rehires that have been hired that had them
in the recent past. So, I find it hard to believe that this was the only reason for him being denied.
When I retired, Capt. Sonny Leeper, Lt. Chas Hilger and I got involved in some training consultation services and some business ventures. None of us left APD disgruntled, contrary to what some have said. I enjoyed my time at APD and APD was good to me. There were issues I had involving hiring and training that I was not pleased about, but my decision to retire was based on multiple factors, the majority of which had nothing to do with APD. Those that worked for me and around me (and for Lt. Hilger and Capt. Leeper) at the time I retired know the truth. For some reason, still unknown to me, Chief Schultz has had some issue with us 3 that I have yet to figure out. Maybe he didn't like 3 command level officers leaving the training section within months? Maybe he felt it made him look bad? Who knows and who cares? To me it shows no level of maturity.
I was approached by members of the local Albuquerque Media during the months after my retirement. They were wanting to interview me regarding the hiring process for APD and the quality of candidates being let in. I had no idea who gave them my phone number as I had recently got a new number after turning in my department issued phone. I could tell they were looking for a story and at that time I felt that it was not in my interest nor APD's to go down that path. Any information provided wouldn't serve any useful purpose and any info that shed a bad light on APD would most likely be countered with allegations that I was disgruntled. Several months after retiring, I first learned of the Eye On Albuquerque site after a friend advised me that he overheard someone from APD's 5th Floor discussing the site and claiming that Sonny Leeper, Chas Hilger, and I were somehow involved in running it. This is not true. Over the past year or so, some of my friends at APD still jokingly call me the "EYE" when they see me, and I laugh and play along with them, but I need to set the record straight. I have no idea who runs this site, but I can say that their information usually appears to be fairly accurate. The do have inside sources for sure. The individual postings under the topics is a different story and they can get a little crazy. Trust me when I say that if I ran this site, I would claim it. If I have something to write about, I will put my name on it just like this post. This is the first post I have ever made here and have no problem putting my name on it.
I feel sorry for Dennis because after a career at APD, he deserves to be told the truth from those making the decision. Unfortunately, as I have learned that is not their style.....and it reveals more about them that they realize.
Retired APD Lt.
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