Community, advocacy groups provide input as APD searches for new chief | KOB 4

Community, advocacy groups provide input as APD searches for new chief

Brittany Costello
May 19, 2018 09:29 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It's no secret Albuquerque Police Department leadership and policies continue to face heavy criticism. Community leaders and fed up residents are more than ready for change.


That chance could be happening sooner rather than later as the department searches for its next chief. During that process, the community is invited to weigh in.

Some did on Saturday, when members of the public made clear the new police chief should not only clean up our streets but completely reform the department and its policies.

“This department over the last 40 years has consistently resisted police reform and has strongly resisted any police oversight,” said one community member sitting in the open forum.

With a new administration in city hall, the search is on for new leadership at APD. It all starts with a city-selected search committee, one that's looking to the community for what they want in a new top cop.

“In terms of having someone who is a reform-minded leader, someone who is focusing on effective crime-fighting strategies, somebody who is focusing on community policing,” said Sunalei Stewart, the chief of staff for Mayor Tim Keller’s office, when asked about the type of candidate they’re looking for.

APD Forward, a group made up of 17 different community organizations, has its own criteria. The organization is demanding a new department with internal systems of accountability and alternatives to incarceration, with the hope the new chief can help end biased policing.

“Somebody who is really going to be respectful of the diverse community that we have here,” said Nancy Koenigsberg with APD Forward. “That somebody needs to be committed to the court-approved settlement agreement and go beyond constitutional policing."

The city has been collecting those resumes since early May. Officials said that, when it’s all said and done, there will have been seven community forums before they make their recommendations by early June.

“It is my feeling, personally, that you need to extend this process to a much longer time frame,” said another resident at the forum.

However, the search for a new chief is unfolding in a time frame many say is far too speedy for a thorough search. Officials said if the applicant pool is not yielding those ideal candidates, they can extend the process from that early June date.

There is still one community meeting to go, and it's scheduled for next week. Comments from the public can also be provided online here



Brittany Costello

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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