As many current and former officers have noted, under Chief Schultz, APD seems to think that evidence is something that is best used for press conferences. Chief Schulz and Mayor Berry routinely expedite the presentation of material favorable (or so they think) to them while denying, hiding, or destroying evidence that is unfavorable. They also seem to think their department is also their own personal promotional device. As the summer of 2012 closes, we can’t think of a better time to reflect upon this mess as the fall election season goes into overdrive and how they've harmed all those that depend on APD:
•While APD couldn’t get video footage of APD Sgt. Peck’s shooting before the media fast enough, Chief Schultz and company did all they could to conceal the video footage of Officers Shad Solis, Ron Surran, and Connor Rice. Schultz even lied about state law giving him protections to keep the video from the media.
•APD continues to release guns held in evidence for safekeeping or tagged as found to persons by doing the bare minimum in a background check: a local warrant check. And such policy is confirmed to be outside of the federal gun control regulations.
•APD’s lawyer Kathy Levy professes her ignorance of the federal gun law regulations and confirms that “saving time and resources” are substantial reasons for fast tracking the release of firearms. But she continues her track record of waiting until the last possible minute to satisfy court orders rather than stepping up and getting ahead of them. Why save the city money when you can cost taxpayers thousands in sanctions because you don't want to comply with court orders?
•APD’s deputy chief Paul Feist orders the unlawful release of ballistic evidence and then claims there’s a court order directing him to do so even though there are standing federal and state laws requiring police departments to retain such evidence.
•Spontaneous statements to supervisors by P1/C’s are being used against officers in support of termination level investigations.
•NOTE TO BERRY, your mismanagement of the city is bringing the state’s entire economy down! As best said by UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research director:
“Albuquerque’s performance “is shocking,” she said. Other cities in the West “had a much deeper fall in the recession than did Albuquerque, and they’re bouncing back. Albuquerque really is the laggard. It’s striking. When your major metropolitan area is still in the doldrums it’s hard for the state as a whole to really start moving forward.” (ABQ Journal, Sept 24, 2012)
•As we at the EYE reported months ago, APD and the city contracted with consulting group to assess the overall efficiency of APD. The stunning conclusion is that dayshift officers need about 30 more cops working the streets. HMMMM…there are 3 dayshift squads for each of the 6 area commands, making 18 squads to await the 30 officers. Barely 1 extra officer per squad (1.67 for those picky readers). And that extra 1 and a half officer is supposed to free up all the other officers to have upwards of 45% on-duty discretionary time.......really?
•AFD’s response times are falling into unacceptable levels of delay. We’re wondering when the local media will review APD’s response times which of course have fallen into the times they were when APD’s spin-master and defendant, TJ Wilham, reported times were too slow.
•Officers are telling us the next Field Service Bid will be held in January because of the rapid drain of personnel as they elect to retire. This would be four months early. We are also being told Schultz is looking at downscaling specialized units by reverse seniority in order to backfill the huge vacancy in the field. We can't wait to see who gets preferential treatment.
•APD is hemorrhaging experienced and skilled officers who choose to retire rather than face the uphill battle of being discriminated against or subject to a hostile work environment. Such vacancies are glossed over by a spirit best expressed by Cmdr. Kevin Rowe as a feeling of “Love and Excellence” when in fact what exists is “HATE and FAILURE.”
•The current roster of officers assigned to patrol is as low as it was in the 90’s…nearly twenty years ago.
But hey, APD gets an “A” by its leaders, while the economic, political, and forces of reality converge upon the city and the department. Perhaps, just perhaps, the problems facing the city and APD aren’t the fault of the rank and file who are out there working their butt off every day. Perhaps, just perhaps, citizens, businesses, and institutions have lost their confidence and their optimism in the Duke City and that there is general fatigue of this chief and his mayor.
Perhaps it’s the…LEADERS…who have caused this mess. Could it be???