Report: APD sees increase in use of force incidents | KOB 4
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Report: APD sees increase in use of force incidents

Patrick Hayes
August 20, 2019 07:10 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A new 51-page report from an independent monitor says there was a dramatic increase in the number of use of force incidents involving Albuquerque police in 2018.

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However, the monitor, Dr. James D. Ginger, said residents shouldn’t be shocked.

“We do not view the obvious jump in numbers as alarming,” wrote Ginger.

“The increased numbers may well be due to the fact that APD is moving into implementation processes required by the CASA-related to officer-reporting of use of force.”

CASA stands for Court-Approved Settlement Agreement.

As KOB 4 previously reported, in 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department entered an agreement with the Department of Justice to reform its use of force policies and tactics.

The agreement came after a federal investigation revealed Albuquerque police were using deadly force in an “unreasonable manner.”

Mayor Tim Keller spoke to a federal judge Tuesday about the newest numbers.

Keller told the judge the city was making improvements but still had a long way to go.

Tuesday was also the first time Keller could talk about improvements that occurred under his watch.

“I think this is the first time where we saw positive comments with respect to progress from all parties that spoke,” said Keller.

“That’s a great thing for our city and it’s a great thing for this process,” he added.

According to the report, the number of uses of force involving APD jumped from 631 in 2017 to 1162 in 2018.

But, again, officials attributed that to an increase in reporting. 

Additionally, APD reported 57 violations of its use of force policy.

That’s a dramatic decrease compared to 162 in 2017 and 219 in 2016.

Keller also said the department has created a new use of force policy and way of reporting incidents.

However, the monitor said there’s still room for improvement.

“What remains is to integrate that training into the day-to-day regimens of field-based supervisory, management, and command personnel,” said Ginger.

"That's a clear takeaway. We have to make sure we implement the use of force policy so now that we agree on it, we have to train everyone on it.  That's going to take almost a year," Keller said. 

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Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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