New report analyzes APD’s use of force in 2022

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A new report is giving input on the amount of use of force interactions involving the Albuquerque Police Department.

According to the 2022 Use of Force Report from the department, APD was involved in 626 use of force interactions in 2022.

Keep in mind, use of force was the reason that the Department of Justice was involved with APD in the first place. The department says these the trends from the report prove they are moving in the right direction.

Out of the 626 interactions, APD said 26 of them, or 4%, were out of policy and 96% were within policy.

“Very good report because it is the first report that we have showing that 95%, which is a huge bench march of this settlement, of uses of force are within policy. That is one of the keys we are taking away from it,” said APD Chief Harold Medina.

Force interactions have declined by 35% since 2020.

Looking at the report for this year, out of the 626 force interactions Chief Medina said most of them were level one and level two use of force interactions. Which could be any interaction from arresting someone to tasing someone.

Taking a closer look at force levels 26% were level one, 57% were level two, and 17% were a level three.

“K-9 bites, officer-involved shootings would obviously fall under level three or if they are hospitalized and admitted into the hospital based on the injury directly related to the force,” said APD Deputy Chief Cori Lowe.

Medina said the department has had problems with level one use of force interactions for years where supervisors have to wait five or six hours to clear officers from a scene.

A new program will bring a group in to centralize how they investigate these cases.

“We wanted to really take a look and see how we can minimize the amount of time our officers are off scene, and so we are trying to get all of our documentation done on scene. And now we are getting our use force investigations for level ones done within a week where before it was extending beyond 30 days,” said Lowe.