Police oversight task force holds public meeting
Posted at: 09/17/2013 10:22 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4
As the Department of Justice continues to investigate APD, the city is turning to Burquenos for input.
City leaders are looking at ways to change the way complaints against officers are handled.
On Tuesday night, KOB Eyewitness News 4 was at a public comment meeting held by the police oversight task force.
Only about 25 or 30 folks turned up to the meeting.
Most think cops aren't being held accountable by the current Police Oversight Commission, especially if they abuse citizens or use their guns when it's unwarranted.
Kayleen Chrisman attended the Tuesday night meeting. She works with Albuquerque's homeless, and life on the streets means her clients come in contact with APD officers often.
She hears things.
"Homeless individuals being arrested by police officers and also incarcerated and having their things taken from them and not returned," she said.
Chrisman admits it's hard to know if anything will be done if she complains about the treatment of people she cares about.
"I've had people in my life that have been homeless," she said.
Chrisman didn't stand up and speak at the comment session, but many others did.
"You have a unique opportunity here to set up a police oversight process that can be a model for the rest of the country," said one man.
But even the task force chairman admits there's a credibility issue.
"The process is flawed," said Andrew Lipman. "The public doesn't trust the Police Oversight Commission."
Lipman said they're struggling to lock down specifics on what needs to change.
KOB asked Lipman if the task force has heard any one complaint about the oversight system more often than others.
"No," said Lipman. "It's more generalized. The system's broken."
Lipman said the task force has their work cut out for them. They have to make recommendations to the city council by December.
"We're in the first phase, which is gathering information," he said. "The second phase, we'll look at what kind of recommendations we can make to improve the system."
Chrisman hopes they get what they need to make a change.
"I just hope that we can see an end to this problem," she said.
The Tuesday night meeting was the second of three public meetings to address concerns about the APD Police Oversight Commission.
Lipman said the only way anything can get done before recommendations to the city council are due is for more people to come to the final meeting.
It's on October 17, and there's more information on the task force webpage, here: