Mayor Berry, Council President and Vice President Announce Plan for Extensive, Broad Based Public Outreach Initiative to Seek Feedback and Implement Community Based Solutions
June 12, 2014
Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry was joined by City Council President Ken Sanchez, Council Vice President Trudy Jones, community leaders, citizens, local stakeholders and representatives from the Albuquerque Police Department to announce a far reaching public outreach effort to seek input from a cross section of the community to improve police practices and community-police relationships. The goal of the Albuquerque Collaborative on Police-Community Relations is to generate a collaborative, diverse, and broad-based dialogue and a sustainable action plan that transforms police-community relations now and for years to come.
The Albuquerque Collaborative on Police-Community Relations will consist of several stages that will seek input from all interested community stakeholders in order to set goals and expectations and develop sustainable community-policing strategies and plans that ultimately result in a widely accepted agreement between the community and the police department.
In the first phase, the city will seek input, ideas and recommendations from anyone interested in participating in meetings that will be constructive and collaborative in nature, designed to advance police-community relations, enhance public safety, and address issues that affect quality of life in Albuquerque. This process will determine the goals and expectations that our residents and our police officers have for the City, the department, and police-community relations, as well as to provide specific solutions to address them. There will also be an online survey process for those interested in participating via the internet. Additionally, surveys will be accessible at many city offices and facilities, in order to reach as many Albuquerque residents as possible and seek their feedback.
Specific groups also will be identified to participate, including a diverse cross section of the local community such as those closely affected by officer involved shootings and use of force, members of local advocacy groups, representatives of neighborhood associations, police officers and their families, youth and young adults, civil and human rights organizations, mental health professionals and advocates for the homeless, business leaders and representatives from minority and faith based communities and organizations.
Meetings will be professionally facilitated to stimulate productive dialogue with specific groups of individuals, but there will also be opportunities to comingle groups with different experiences and perspectives in order to build understanding and consensus between groups.
Many issues and questions will be addressed including:
1. What are your goals and expectations for police-community relations in Albuquerque?
2. What are your goals and expectations for police-community interactions and conduct in Albuquerque?
3. Why are these goals and expectations important to you? (What experiences, values, beliefs, feelings influence your goals?
4. How do you think your goals can be best achieved?
5. What are your specific suggestions and ideas?
In the second phase, the data gathered from stakeholders and survey respondents will be analyzed, organized and summarized by an experienced, professional outside agency. Separate feedback sessions will then be held to present the summary forms.
Each stakeholder group will then draft a set of community goals. Through a voting process by all groups, a set of prioritized community-wide consensus goals will be established and affirmed.
These goals will then be implemented into an action plan designed and built by the community and APD to advance police-community relations, enhance public safety, and address issues that affect quality of life in Albuquerque.
In the third phase, a monitoring committee made up of local volunteers and leaders who have signed on to the final set of goals, expectations and the subsequent action plan will be established to monitor, track progress and make recommendations to keep the process moving forward.
The City will also hire a facilitator to oversee the overall process and report back to the mayor, city council and the community. The initial process is expected to take 6 months but is designed to create long term, sustainable solutions for better policing and community outcomes.
“We must come together as a community and a police department to strengthen relationships and seek community-based solutions on behalf of the citizens we serve” said Mayor Berry. “It is vital that we establish an ongoing dialogue and consensus agreement that will exist long after the DOJ has completed their work in Albuquerque. The initiatives put forth today will provide an important and ongoing opportunity to improve policing, policies and community relationships in our city,” he added.
Those interested in participating should sign up or fill out your survey through the Mayor’s office by logging onto www.cabq.gov/apd-community-relations starting on today.