Albuquerque police chief addresses federal investigation into officers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — We’re hearing from Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina for the first time since the department confirmed a handful of officers are at the center of a federal investigation.
Medina revealed facts about the timeline of the investigation and the number of officers involved so far. He also had strong words for Albuquerque city councilors on transparency.
The investigation is far from over. According to the chief, APD first got a complaint related to the department’s DWI unit in December 2022. After more than a year of teamwork with the FBI, five officers are either on leave or reassignment.
APD says a confidential source went to a deputy APD chief in December 2022 with the original allegations about the DWI unit.
“They believe it was DWI officers, and that one had made the comment that they were making money off of DWI stops,” Medina said.
After months of investigating, Medina says the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office helped move it forward.
“DA Bregman tells me that there’s some allegations that have come out against DWI officers and that the matter was turned over to the FBI,” Medina said.
APD says the department also handed over its criminal case to the FBI in late 2023, while it handled the administrative side.
“I will defend those officers doing a great job, tooth and nail, but I will ensure that these individuals involved in the scheme are held accountable,” Medina said.
Medina also confirmed some of these allegations go back as far as a decade.
Giuli Frendak: “How does that happen?”
Chief Medina: “I tried to look at this, and I tried to determine how, and I think it’s individuals. I think that they just developed such a close relationship with other members of the criminal justice system that they were able to hide things very well. And this goes to show how complex and how thoughtful the scheme was.”
Giuli Frendak: “Is this not how we lose confidence in our local police officers?”
Chief Medina: “You know the actions of few always tarnish a bunch. And right now we have five officers who have tarnished our badge. It is a sense of pride that this administration, and the current leadership was able to break open a case that we feel was happening for over a decade.”
KOB 4 asked Medina about the narrative of the story and what the officers are accused of doing – he could not comment on that today. KOB 4 will not be naming the officers at this time because there are still no charges filed.