For over the last year there has been considerable talk about a federal Department of Justice investigation of APD. The desire to have an objective investigation into APD’s patterns and practices comes in the wake of many events and identification of trends. From a significant spike in police involved shootings to a seemingly endless docket of litigation against the department (frequently by current APD officers against Chief Schultz) to persistent doubt by the community, APD’s luster remains challenged and tarnished.
With upwards of a 1000 officers, the Albuquerque Police Department is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. The APD is tasked with jurisdiction within the city of Albuquerque and, as needed, the county of Bernalillo. Overlapping the city of Albuquerque with police jurisdiction is the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and the New Mexico State Police. Within the city of Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico Police Department and the City of Albuquerque Aviation Police Departments have tightly defined geographic areas of authority. Many have asked, well what would happen if the DOJ came in and started to an investigation? How deep would the investigators dig, and more importantly what would happen with what is found? Another question to consider, but not asked, is what would investigators identify as missing? It’s clear that Chief Schultz is the absent minded chief who never seems to know the details of any issue of concern despite being the chief of the largest police force in the state. Would he be sidelined while agents and attorneys from Washington take over the department and enforce a consent decree? Our Eyes tell us that with so many people in APD serving in what can only be described as a patronage system much would go missing. Despite Chief Schultz constantly posturing how hi-tech APD is with a paperless reporting system, digital lapel cameras, computerized evidence management systems, and its own IT staff, lawyers tell us getting information from APD is as hard as ever. Also, with so many people placed in positions outside of their merit we would expect many to file retirement paperwork. CAO Rob Perry recently made a bold statement that private activity concurrent with on the clock employment time would addressed as fraud. Given the sheer emptiness of APD’s main police station every Friday, one must wonder what so many folks in management are doing… Given the current state of the department’s management, it seems such massive change would not be a bad idea.
But it seems as of late we can have a hint of what is coming. Our Eyes tell us, and we ourselves have seen, an increased presence of officers from the NMSP patrolling the city. They have been seen setting up laser-speed enforcement tac-plans on frontage and side roads, and they have been seen patrolling and making vehicle stops in locations far and removed from the freeways. Our Eyes tell us these activities are unprecedented. It is no secret that officers within APD naturally view the city as their “turf” and but several officers have told us that to see an officer from NMSP within the city and NOT on the freeway creates a very noticeable impression. Perhaps this is coincidence. But perhaps NMSP Chief Shilling decided that since the city of Albuquerque is within his jurisdiction he has a duty to maintain order there as well. IF APD is subject to a DOJ investigation, and its management is scrutinized in a way they deserve to be, then it seems reasonable there will be a sizable chilling effect upon APD’s ability to do its job. As a department that promotes being “In step with the community” it has indeed lost its cadence with the people it is sworn to serve.
Foothills Area Commander Cliff Saylor recently sent an email to several neighborhood associations indicating a list of “failures” that led APD into many of the recent shootings. Should APD be subject to a DOJ investigation, Chief Shultz would no doubt leave because, as he repeatedly states “he knows nothing.” But one has to consider that if the DOJ comes in to investigate APD, then it is only because APD’s management has failed the citizens of Albuquerque. By Chief Schultz’s own admissions, APD is in a state of failure. And for once we agree with him.
PS-We find Retiring Commander Cliff Saylor's comments to be cheap, repulsive and not truly reflective of the majority of APD personnel. Blaming people and/or circumstances of the people who have been shot by APD is the same as blaming a domestic violence victim for the treatment they have received. Notwithstand, police work does involve the use of force at time but disrespecting the dead or injured is as wrong as you can get. Families are mourning and grief struck over their losses; Saylor last minutes attempt at a despicable act hoping to be promoted higher in the Schultz fascism cult clearly shows what type of person he truly is.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? 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