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APD Officers Receive Performance Driver Training to Keep Streets Safe, Avoid Dangerous Crashes

Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Mike Geier highlighted an effort today to train officers to keep the public safe when they are dealing with dangerous situations on Albuquerque streets, including re-training officers who have been in vehicle crashes.

Oct. 17, 2019

Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Mike Geier highlighted an effort today to train officers to keep the public safe when they are dealing with dangerous situations on Albuquerque streets, including re-training officers who have been in vehicle crashes.

APD has been working with Performance Driving School to train officers who have been in vehicle crashes. Mayor Keller and Chief Geier hosted the news media today at the Sandia Speedway’s Road Course to show the types of training officers are receiving.

“We made a commitment to invest in meaningful training for officers and cadets to avoid vehicle crashes and save lives,” Mayor Keller said. “As Mayor, I have met with families that lost loved ones in fatal crashes. I also want to ensure the safety of our officers who are likely to encounter dangerous situations on Albuquerque streets.”

Nationally, 106 officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018. Nearly half of those officers died from accidental vehicle crashes. Most police crashes occur while officers clear intersections, and as a result of distracted driving, going too fast, and not wearing a seat belt.

Five years after a deadly crash involving an APD officer, Mayor Keller and Chief Geier unveiled a memorial plaque to honor the victim, Ashley Browder. The plaque is displayed at the APD Academy, where police cadets are now required to go through additional training as a result of the crash that killed Browder and seriously injured her sister, Lindsay Browder. Chief Geier credited the Browder family for using the tragedy as a positive opportunity to improve the police department.

“I promised the Browder family that Ashley’s legacy will live on, not only on the walls of our facilities, but should be burned into our very hearts and souls so that we never forget why we are here,” Chief Geier said.
Vehicle crashes also cost taxpayers. In 2018, the City of Albuquerque paid out $7.3 million in law enforcement-related legal settlements related to bodily injury.

Ashley Browder was killed in a 2013 crash caused by an off-duty APD officer who was speeding and ran a red light. The city settled a lawsuit with the Browder family in 2017, which required new training to warn APD cadets and officers of the tragic results that can occur from an officer’s driving conduct.