APD making changes following record number of police shootings

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There were a record number of police shootings in Albuquerque last year.

APD officers shot at suspects 18 times in 2022 — 10 were deadly. The department is making changes to avoid these shootings.

APD Chief Harold Medina acknowledged the changes are because of concerned residents. According to police, it’s all about the balance between requiring more classroom training for officers but not taking them off the streets for too long where they can’t do their jobs.

“APD is going to have to figure it out on its own, when the DOJ leaves, and it’s going to be a community expectation,” Medina said. “This is one of the first major steps we’ve done in making sure we have a system in place that we are taking into consideration, post-DOJ in Albuquerque, and how we want to function as a police department.”

Medina said new technology and equipment will do just that.

“There are some things that have already been covered,” he said. “This is our commitment to be transparent and explain to the community where we are at in this process, and also to build that confidence that when we do have trends occur we will always be proactive and look to see how we can make changes.”

APD says they did identify areas where officers could have used less-lethal options. The department will also look into mentorship programs to help younger officers who are patrolling the streets.

“This isn’t about us placing blame on officers,” Medina said. “This was about looking at us as an orgaization and seeing how we could be a much better organization and have better outcomes.”

APD has already started implementing some of these changes. More in-depth training will start in April.