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Independent Review Office of the Police Oversight Commission

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Information about the Independent Review Office of the Police Oversight Commission.

The Independent Review Office (IRO) of the Police Oversight Commission receives and investigates complaints filed by individuals against the Albuquerque Police Department and its employees for misconduct. Another Mission of the Independent Review Office includes working with the Police Oversight Commission to propose policy changes to the Albuquerque Police Department.

City Council passed Legislation Suspending Current Police Oversight Commission, effective September 10, 2014

 

On September 2, 2014, the City of Albuquerque passed legislation which suspended the current Police Oversight Commission (POC), Ordinance O-14-15.  This legislation became effective on September 10, 2014.

Ordinance O-14-15 suspended all functions, powers and duties the POC until "such time as the City Council determines those functions should begin again or enacts a different or altered oversight process."

Ordinance O-14-15 further provided that during the suspension of the POC, the Independent Review Officer (IRO) shall continue to receive, investigate and evaluate citizen complaints and officer involved shootings without oversight by or the involvement of the existing POC.

Under Ordinance O-14-15, determinations of the IRO shall, if requested, be reviewed by a contract hearing officer selected by the City pursuant to the terms of the Administrative Hearings Ordinance to conduct a whole record review of the determinations of the IRO.

Below is an explanation of Independent Review Office's process to review and investigate complaints filed against the police, as revised by Ordinance O-14-15.

Citizen Police Complaint Process Revised Pursuant to O-14-15

  1. A person may file a Complaint against the Albuquerque Police Department, via the internet or in writing. The Complaint must be signed.
  2. The Complaint must be filed within 90 days of the incident.
  3. The Independent Review Office will open a case and assign it to an investigator. The assigned investigator will interview witnesses, obtain evidence, and interview the officers involved.
  4. Once the investigation of the Complaint is completed, the Independent Review Officer will review the Complaint and results of the investigation to determine if there are any violations of Albuquerque Police Department Standard Operating Procedures. Standard Operating Procedures are the Police Department's rules regulating police and employee actions and conduct.
  5. The Independent Review Officer will draft a letter to the person who filed the Complaint indicting her conclusions and findings.
  6. The Albuquerque Police Department supervisors, including the Chief of Police, will review the Complaint and the Independent Review Officer's findings and conclusions.
  7. After the Chief of Police has reviewed the Independent Review Officer's findings, the IRO will send her findings via Certified Mail to the person who filed the Complaint.
  8. The person who filed the Complainant may request a review of the IRO's findings and conclusions, which will be reviewed by a Hearing Officer selected by the City, pursuant to City law.
  9. The Chief of Police has sole authority to impose discipline to an Albuquerque Police Department employee for violations of the Albuquerque Police Department Standard Operating Procedures. The IRO does not impose discipline.
  10. The Independent Review Office does not conduct criminal investigations.
  11. Whenever possible the Independent Review Office will seek to mediate a Complaint to best address the concerns contained in the Complaint.

Police Oversight Commission has been temporarily suspended.

As discussed above, City Council voted to suspend the Police Oversight Commission (POC), and divest the POC of all functions, powers and duties until "such time as the City Council determines those functions should begin again or enacts a different or altered oversight process."

Television Coverage of the Police Oversight Commission Meetings temporarily suspended

There are currently no meetings of the POC scheduled.  Once new Police Oversight legislation is enacted, the times and terms of future meeting dates will be established.

The August 14, 2014 monthly meeting of the Police Oversight Commission was video recorded and shown on GovTV, the local government television channel for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. GovTV provided live coverage of the Police Oversight Commission meeting during its scheduled meeting time. GovTV's website also provides a link to view a copy of the most recent Police Oversight Commission Meeting.

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