Albuquerque city council selects new director of Civilian Police Oversight Agency
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The City of Albuquerque has a new director of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency, the group created to look into public complaints about APD.
Diane McDermott was chosen by city councilors on Monday, and they had their first meeting Thursday evening.
“In essence receives the complaints from the citizens regarding any misconduct of potential policy violations by the personnel of the Albuquerque Police Department,” McDermott said.
Once the board gets a complaint about an officer from an Albuquerque resident, they will investigate that officer. McDermott will then review the outcome and recommend how that officer should be disciplined. That recommendation then goes back to the board for final review before it is presented to Chief Harold Medina.
“We are here to do fair and impartial investigations that is really the main focus of our work and then the other aspects to improve and assist the department to be a better department,” she said.
They also have access to the entire department which allows them to interact directly with the police officers in question.
“We conduct direct investigations, so we have the authority to interview officers. We receive the complaint, we review the complainant if possible if they wish to participate, we interview the officers to get their statement,” McDermott said.
Amid a federal investigation, we also wanted to know if there is any way they can help track which officers are missing court. McDermott said right now there is not a system in place for that but that isn’t to say they won’t recommend policy in the future.
“It is going to be a collaborative effort between the agency, the advisory board, and the community policing councils to evaluate what is going on and of course, as more information comes out about this investigation and how this transpired then more insight and more recommendations will be able to come from these agencies,” said the new executive director.
KOB 4 obtained a letter to the CPOA outlining concerns about an APD officer involved in the federal investigation. We asked about their role in that investigation.
In a statement, McDermott said that they started the preliminary work for that investigation but then found out that “the complaint was within the scope of a larger investigation so the case responsibility was transferred to Internal Affairs.”