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APD union pres: Training welcomed, Banks was better leader

Updated: 04/01/2014 10:47 PM | Created: 04/01/2014 10:45 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

APD's union president said Tuesday she supports more training for APD officers regardless of recent events, and adds true reform should be top-down.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry Tuesday proposed $1 million to train APD officers in de-escalation tactics.

The announcement comes more than two weeks after police shot and killed homeless man James Boyd in the foothills, sparking protests against APD.

APD union president Stephanie Lopez said New Mexicans should know why she believes chief Gorden Eden can't do his job.

"Disheartened."

That's the word Lopez uses to describe APD officer morale.

Mayor Berry said he wants APD to have more support. He proposed Tuesday $1 million to train officers how to approach interactions with those who suffer from mental illness.

"And also a focus on de-escalation and other crisis intervention strategies," Berry added.

But as far as specifics, Berry nor APD would expand on what new training would look like.

"You can never be trained enough," said Lopez.

Lopez said APD chief Gorden Eden must be progressive about his approach to new training.

"It's called Force Science," said Lopez.

She wants leadership to consider the Force Science Institute -- it compiles data from police shootings across the nation to formulate best practices.

"They do it in different states, but it's never been held here," she said.

Lopez also wants all APD officers to receive 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Training, instead of only a select few.

"It's micromanaged," said Lopez of the department.

She said things cannot change without independent thinkers at the top.

"I would prefer to have Allen Banks running this department, because he wasn't dictated and controlled," she said.

She said new chief Gorden Eden won't take control like his predecessor.

"He stood up to the 11th floor a lot more than Shultz or chief Eden has had the opportunity to do," said Lopez.

APD said Tuesday specifics about new training will be available at a later date.

KOB asked Eden's office for response to Lopez's comments, but he has not responded.


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