APD taking action following surge 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.

Since then, the Albuquerque Police Department has started doing six-month reviews of those shootings. The results from the first six months of 2023 are in. The takeaway? The head of the police department says they need to make some changes.

In the first six months of this year, Albuquerque police officers have been involved in seven shootings.

In every case, police say the suspect who was shot was either armed with a knife or a gun.

In two cases, the suspect shot at officers first. In two other cases, officers attempted to use less than lethal force before they opened fire.

Of the seven cases, three of them were deadly.

Along with taking a look at the details of these cases, the department has decided to bring in a new set of eyes to provide insight and recommendations on how the department can better handle these situations.

“We have hired a use of force expert and this expert will become an internal monitor of the Albuquerque Police Department, who will review shootings past the Department of Justice being here,” APD Chief Harold Medina said. “This individual will give us a view from the outside and will not be accountable to the chief.”

The working group that put together this review of officer-involved shootings also had a few recommendations for how the police department can improve – including prioritizing firearm training, making sure officers have access to less-than-lethal tools, and improving communication between supervisors and field officers during these incidents.

Chief Medina said they will officially introduce their use of force expert at a later date to fully explain how they will be helping the department.