Updated: 04/12/2014 7:17 PM |
Created: 04/12/2014 7:10 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4
More than 200 people were at Civic Plaza downtown to rally behind the Albuquerque Police Department.
They say they are worried about the department’s morale.
Walk a mile in an APD officer’s shoes—that was the message demonstrators had for the public.
Many former and current APD officers were at Saturday morning’s rally at Civic Plaza downtown.
Officer Rob Mitchell was one of them.
He served with APD for six years and is now a volunteer officer with the department.
He says these are hard times for APD officers, which is why they need backing and not backlash form the community.
“I'm here to show support for my brothers and sisters who are struggling with the current image that has been given in the media and through this DOJ report that's come out,” Mitchell said.
A large group of veterans came to show their support.
Many agree there should be more training for officers on how to handle people with a mental illness.
“Better education and if that is what comes from the DOJ investigation, more training--more power to them,” Derrek Bennet said.
Debbie King, the wife of APD officer Michael King, was there.
Michael King was killed 9 years ago by John Hyde—a mentally ill man.
She says the department needs to improve, but has no doubt the department, her husband once loved, will get back on its feet.
“Even though we hear the negative things going on, there's so many positive things that they do daily in their lives and their jobs that I think it’s important for us to remember,” King said.