Over the last few months, a seemingly endless and deepening string of failures continue their erosion of the Albuquerque Police Department’s effectiveness. Instead of confronting an upswing in violent crime and homicides, APD struggles with felony crime within its own ranks. Instead of addressing the shortage of patrol personnel, APD continues to add more “inside” positions having little to do with police work. Instead of constraining its own out of control $160 Million budget, a massive embezzlement investigation spirals out of control affecting more and more personnel. Instead of embracing solid leadership concepts and practices as espoused in “Speed of Trust,” APD promotes three lieutenants of inferior experience, knowledge, and ability (and one captain with at least one civil rights conviction to the position of deputy chief). While all this continues to explode, another crisis challenging Albuquerque’s public safety agencies unfolds. But this does not involve APD, it involves the Albuquerque Fire Department.
Tige Watson is AFD’s Chief of Personnel and our Eyes tell us he is next in line to succeed Chief Breen to take over AFD and its $60 Million budget. As the department’s personnel chief he should be intimately aware of personnel policies, rules, regulations and applicable labor laws. But his knowledge of such rules and regulations does not stem from skills and experience, it comes from breeching those very rules.
On December 14th, 1999, then a lieutenant, Chief Watson started paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act in support of his pregnant wife. FMLA grants twelve workweeks in a given year for eligible employees to provide care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition. Yet, while Chief Watson was supposed to be here in Albuquerque caring for his wife, he was actually pursuing employment with the Henderson County Fire Department in the state of Nevada. His employment status was that as a cadet in the Henderson Fire Academy. On January 6th, 2000, after this matter was brought to the attention of then Deputy Chief Ron Beckman, an internal investigation was launched inquiring into the extent that Chief Watson defrauded AFD. Under the terms of FMLA he was on paid leave to care for a family member’s medical condition. The allegations against Chief Watson were that he was not complying with the requirements of FMLA and Chief Watson was not allowed to have employment outside of his current assignment with AFD without permission. Upon completion of an internal investigation, Chief Watson was disciplined with 60 hours unpaid leave for his fraudulent representations. Our Eyes tell us there has been no other instance of an AFD employee receiving such a suspension, and that other shave been terminated for less. Our Eyes tell us that for unknown reasons, this incident has been buried despite the local media being alerted to it. We wonder if this is but another example of the Mayor Berry doing whatever is necessary to “appear” as if his administration is inclusive of all despite challenges to their merit, skills, ability, or knowledge.
We’ve seen, and continue to see the effects of poor leadership upon APD. AFD’s chief has already received a vote of no confidence. As the Chief of Personnel, Chief Watson has disciplined 14 AFD members for off-duty conduct, of which 6 resulted in the employees being fired. Yet, there have no other instances where AFD personnel have been disciplined at the level Chief Watson was back in 2000. Our Eyes assert that this is very troublesome within the ranks of AFD as, and similar to APD, there is significant disparity between the application of rules to supervisors versus rank and file employees. The fact that the city has buried this issue and its details is evidence of their awareness that this is wrong. Much as a guilty party runs away from apprehension, blames others, or hides evidence, the city’s efforts to conceal Chief Watson’s illegal acts speak as much about Rob Perry and Mayor Berry’s ability to do what is right.
With Chief Watson, we see Mayor Berry vote no confidence in Albuquerque’s bravest of the brave.
You say wheres the proof? Read below;
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