Officers' union hopeful after mayor announces APD restructuring | KOB 4
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Officers' union hopeful after mayor announces APD restructuring

Kassi Nelson
December 11, 2017 06:17 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It's a new era for the Albuquerque Police Department. The restructuring of the department is underway, meaning demotions for the department's command staff.

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Mayor Tim Keller promised to overhaul the department throughout his campaign and he acted with a sense of urgency just two weeks into his term. The demotions for command staff is a big step, and Albuquerque Police Officers Association President Shaun Willoughby is hopeful.

"A new set of eyes to look at a pretty large problem is not necessarily a bad thing," he said.

Keller and Police Chief Mike Geier are streamlining the department to reduce bureaucracy and emphasize community policing. They've eliminated the rank of "major" and "assistant chief," reassigned personnel to process the use of force review backlog, and established a Department of Justice compliance bureau focused on department reforms.

Those demoted are now in "acting" positions as their roles and performance at APD are evaluated. Willoughby said time will tell how the move helps the department and the city.

"I think that a lot of changes remain to be seen," he said. "I think this is just the first move, and we will have to see how this impacts our ability to reform APD, if this helps reform APD, and what's still to come."

But no matter how many people get moved around within the department, Willoughby said the city won't be safer until it hires more officers.

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Kassi Nelson

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

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