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Mayor Keller, APD and Police Oversight Leaders Give Update on Reform

Issues included in #8CantWait campaign just part of new use of force policies and other meaningful changes

June 5, 2020

Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair, Civilian Police Oversight Agency Executive Director Ed Harness, Assistant City Attorney Lindsay Van Meter, and Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Garcia held a news conference today to give an update on reform, including the issues in the #8CantWait campaign.

Within six months of taking office, the Keller administration changed APD leadership, created a dedicated compliance bureau, reformed internal affairs investigations, and embraced data to begin reform efforts at the department. 

Acknowledging the recent calls for continuing police reform following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Mayor Keller said, “As your Mayor, I want to continue to acknowledge that pain. But I also want to make sure we keep doing something about it. Our administration has been steering the effort to restore trust between APD and our people. We know how important that trust is to fighting violent crime, and just how fragile that trust can be.”

Last year, APD finished a lengthy review and input process on the use of force policies. It’s an ongoing process, including many policies included in the eight areas that are highlighted in the #8CantWait campaign. The department took extensive input from the public during that policy creation process, and will continue to do so. There is so much work still to be done, there always will be, but in the past two and-a-half years, dozens of meaningful, lasting changes have been implemented.

Of the eight categories in the #8CantWait campaign, APD is ahead of most cities across the country, having already implemented six of the eight policies.  The department is already in the process of implementing the other two, and they will continue to refine those policies as they are coming for the six-month review.

“We want you to know that we are responsive to your concerns regarding APD’s handling of the protests and the advanced use of force policy which the public had a great deal of input in formulating,” said Civilian Police Oversight Agency Executive Director Ed Harness. “APD has made a lot of progress under the new leadership and there’s still more work to be done.”

The Civilian Police Oversight Agency has voting rights for policies as they come forward and hold special meetings to collect public comment. The CPOA encourages the public to get involved in a community policing council to remain engaged in the department’s reform efforts.

Watch the full news conference here: