APD claims use of force within policy 95% of the time
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — According to APD, 95% of use-of-force incidents were within the department’s policy during the last six months.
APD officers were involved in 296 use-of-force incidents between Aug. 1, 2022 and Jan. 31, 2023. Of those incidents, APD’s Internal Affairs Division determined that 15 were out of policy.
“This is an important milestone for the Albuquerque Police Department because it reflects the success across the department,” said Victor Valdez, superintendent of police reform at APD.
APD is under a court-approved settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to change officers’ approach to using force during arrests. APD created the Office of the Superintendent of Police Reform and a new compliance bureau to oversee reform efforts and overhaul policies, training, force investigations and discipline.
“Now we’re seeing the results from officers who are responsible for meeting the high standards that are expected of them,” Chief Medina said. “In reality, force is rarely used and when it is necessary, officers are making good decisions based on training and sound judgment.”
While APD is reporting progress, the ACLU of New Mexico shared the following statement:
“While we are glad to see some strides being made in Albuquerque Police Department reform efforts, the fact is that many of these out of policy use-of-force incidents still lead to needless deaths and injuries. Even just one out of policy use-of-force incident is too many.”
While 5% of use of force incidents broke policy, APD said the goal is to eliminate any at all.
“I think officers want it to be zero, and we’ll just strive as a department to make it zero,” said Gilbert Gallegos, APD spokesperson.