Below is an "open letter" that was sent to us from an APD officer that we have not heard from before at the Eye. Keep in mind; this is from a person who is behind the badge. The letter contains some thoughts that we feel should be shared.
I am writing you this letter because the front page of the Sunday's Journal (08/28/11) is sitting like a brick at the pit of my stomach. I would love to write this in the editorial section, but I live under a boss who rules through fear and intimidation, and I am not allowed to voice my opinions. Morale at the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has never been as low as it is now. Reading the article in the paper today, literally made my stomach turn. Chief Schultz is not the "problem fixer," he IS the problem. I am not a disgruntled employee nor am I biased because of any discipline I have received at the hands of Chief Schultz. In fact, I have never been disciplined and have been a police officer for over a decade with APD. Mayor Berry was given the police endorsement, mostly because of the empty promises he made to the officers of this department. He PROMISED he was going to "clean house" and hire a new Chief; a flat out blatant lie. Chief Gallegos was not solely responsible for the Evidence Lab fiasco. In fact, at the time of Gallegos' reign, Chief Schultz was the Deputy Chief in CHARGE of the Crime Lab! The public wonders why there are officers that are committing unethical, sometimes illegal acts. Look at our Chief, we are only doing what we are taught.
A couple of years ago, there was a Sgt. that was found to be intimately involved with one of his subordinates. The subordinate, a detective under his immediate command, killed herself, leaving a husband (another APD officer) and two small children. This Sgt. was transferred to another area command and shortly, thereafter, was promoted to Lieutenant. There was NO discipline whatsoever. In fact, immediately after his departure from the NE Impact Team, a letter was placed in the blotter written by then Captain Henz. It stated that this was not a disciplinary action, but a transfer that the Sgt. had wanted for quite some time. The Chief did nothing to protect the officers, or the family of the deceased officer.
There is a Lt. that while in charge of records, received at least three separate EEOC complaints against him. the complaints were filed by women that had no connection to each other, nor had they concocted their stories, as the complaints were filed at different times. The complaints were similar and all accused the Lt. of discrimination based on sex. One of those cases has since been settled, FOR the officer and AGAINST the Lt. This same Lt. caught two officers (one of whom was married and was ordered not to be at the academy) having sex in the parking lot of the Police Academy. He chose not to discipline, nor did he document the conduct unbecoming that he observed. The Chief did not punish this Lt., instead he was recently promoted to Commander.
Chief Schultz allowed former Public Safety Director, Darren White, to lie to city council AND to the citizens of Albuquerque. Several months ago, TJ Wilham was terminated from city employment and escorted out of City Hall. Then, 24 hours later, TJ was "relocated" to the communications center and given a job that was created solely for him. Darren White denied there was a termination, however, there was. CAO Campbell was the one that signed the termination letter and made sure Mr. Wilham was escorted from the building. Covering up for someone is just as bad as the deception itself.
Chief Schultz constantly prides himself in making sure the city knows that its officers are held to a higher standard. However, he praises and commends those that act in behavior that is anything but professional. He chose to promote and assign a PIO that has made it a habit of involving herself with married men, sometimes ON DUTY. He has allowed this Sgt. to remain a Sgt. despite the fact, that she is not supervising ANYONE! This was behavior that was discovered by Attorney Brad Hall (attorney for Terra Chavez- slain wife of an APD Officer). Mr. Hall filed a request and was granted the investigation details of ongoing infidelities that was occurring within the department. The Chief quickly settled the lawsuit, and thus never having to provide any details of this unprofessionalism.
Chief Schultz chose to place a PROBATIONARY employee in Animal Control, while the death of the officer's wife was investigated. There were issues with this officer NOT related to the death of his wife, and he chose not to terminate this employee. This probationary employee was employed for over 3 years and even got off of probation while on administrative leave.
Chief Schultz indicated in the Journal article today that he was released from the infamous Costales lawsuit. Chief Schultz was found GUILTY of intimidating Officer Costales and disciplining Officer Costales based on retaliation. That part of the suit was settled and thus his name was removed.
Several years ago, during a Union Meeting, an Officer made a Motion to conduct a vote of no confidence in Chief Schultz. Immediately after that Motion, the Chief began to intimidate and harass the officer. For example, the Chief began showing up on ALL of this officer's calls, making him feel extremely intimidated. This officer eventually withdrew his Motion because of the fear of retaliation.
During a City Council meeting a year ago, a well known and long serving APD Sergeant voiced his concerns about the department as well as Chief Schultz. This Sergeant walked to his car after the meeting and received a phone call that an Internal Affairs investigation had been opened on the Sergeant. This was a clear showing of fear and intimidation. To this date, the Sergeant was never given the outcome of that investigation.
A former Deputy Chief was investigated by the FBI in reference to a case. During that interview, the Deputy Chief stated that the Officer being investigated was a victim of Chief Schultz's intimidation and retaliation way of supervising. The officer had testified in Federal Court that ultimately led to charges against another officer being acquitted of all charges that the State had brought up against him. Chief Schultz was so angry and humiliated that he "punished" that officer by holding the transfer that he so passionately wanted and earned.
Chief Schultz loves to sugar coat every wrongdoing that is discovered under his regime. He does not take responsibility for his actions, yet disciplines those officers who fail to do so or go against him. Morale is at an ALL time low because of Chief Schultz. He has given officers lie after lie and has used his position to intimidate officers who challenge him. Chief Schultz refuses to allow officers to work a 4-10 shift because he states there is no "officer coverage" available for calls for service. There are LESS officers working in the field than there have been in years. There are some squads that have only 5 officers for the entire shift for the entire area command.
More training was an issue of concern that was brought up to the Chief in an effort to better the department. Chief Schultz agrees on paper, yet does the opposite. Chief Schultz has on more than one occasion transfered BRAND new Sergeants to investigative positions that require significant training. There are BRAND new sergeants transferring to specialty units (DWI, K9, I.A.) before experiencing any field time after promotion whatsoever.
The citizens of Albuquerque deserve to be told the truth and educated about this administration. Chief Schultz is experiencing more problems with the department than ever. The time has come for him to resign or be terminated. Do not let him fool you, he IS the reason the department is in complete shambles.