Below is an open letter to the Albuquerque Journal from (Ret.) Captain DM Gilmore. The Journal often will not publish an opposing view or views that are critical of the Journal or its' staff. Please read on...
The Journal's editorial of July 12, 2013 asking, "Why didn't APD slow down response to vet?" leaves me perplexed and questioning the Journal's understanding of police work in general.
The Journal has written a number of stories in the recent past dealing with the slow and slowing response to calls for service by APD and the impact it has on public safety. I can imagine the beating APD would have taken had someone been stabbed or killed because APD decided to hold the first arriving officer until a supervisor or crisis intervention officer had arrived. The first officer on the scene as the Journal reported "did not see any weapons or immediate threat" took the proper action by engaging the vet in this fluid situation without waiting for the supervisor or crisis intervention officer. How many stabbing victims would the Journal have found appropriate before the officer intervened without the supervisor being present? Almost every single time the media slams APD either in print or by facial expressions/verbal tone on TV. Has the media given up on the concept of personal responsibility? Does every cop now have to concern himself or herself with the type of childhood a person had or the relationship they had with their mothers?
The Journal fails to understand that the Albuquerque Police Department Standard Operating Procedures serve as a guide for the officers and that there must be some latitude based on each situation for the officers discretion. There is an old saying about walking a mile in the other guy's shoes. I would say the media needs to do this instead of conjuring up bogus issues to attack law enforcement, a basically thankless yet rewarding profession.
To the involved officer, I know you would have wanted a different outcome. For myself I am happy that you went home safely and unhurt to your family and friends. As a former Viet Nam vet myself, if I could, I would tell Mr. Wood that I am sorry and ashamed by the fact that you were not properly cared for by the government that sent you to war.