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New APD website, marketing campaign tout reforms

Caleb James
October 27, 2017 06:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Seemingly overnight, the City of Albuquerque has launched a new marketing campaign focused on police department reform efforts.

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Just days after a scathing Huffington Post article accused APD of obstruction and non-compliance with its Department of Justice settlement agreement, the city launched a new website at APDReform.com

APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said the website is the first step. There's an advertising campaign coming as well.

Immediately on the heels of a report accusing APD of sabotaging reform, the campaign seems designed to combat that. "Positive change -- a stronger community" is the banner splashed across the front page of APDReform.com.

The website features multimedia, including the video greeting from Eden.  

"Behind the uniform and behind the badge, we are your neighbors, your friends, and your family members," APD Chief Gorden Eden said in a video posted on the site. 

"We have established extensive review processes to allow for appropriate oversight of our officers," Eden continued. 

It also includes 21 different information sections specific to different APD areas of reform and progress like staffing, policy development, use of force, and employee accountability. 

Espinoza said the website and videos were put together by an advertising firm called EFG Creative. The cost? $40,000. There's also an advertising component costing an additional $30,000. That's a grand total of $70,000 for the marketing campaign.

The website also states APD has reached 93 percent primary compliance with the DOJ settlement agreement, which may seem a bit more progressive than it is in context.

According to the latest DOJ monitor report, primary compliance is only Step One of three in the overall process. The department is less than halfway there. 

It's unclear what the advertising component of the contract with EFG Creative will look like, but KOB will keep an eye out and let you know.

APD Forward, an organization pushing for reforms in the city's police department released a statement Friday criticizing the new website. The coalition says the site confuses the public and undermines federal monitor efforts.

“Back in April, right before the release of the Monitoring Team’s fifth report, APD did a series of presentations around the city aimed at praising itself for all the progress it had made,” said APD Forward spokesperson Adriann Barboa, field director for Strong Families New Mexico. “A few weeks later, the monitor’s report was released detailing the ways in which APD leadership was deliberately obstructing important aspects of the reform process. Now here we are, a week before the release of the monitor’s sixth report, and APD is pulling a variation on the same trick with this new website.”

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Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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