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Mayor Keller Signs on to Mayor’s Pledge for Police Reform

Just one part of renewing commitment to ongoing change at APD

June 12, 2020

Mayor Tim Keller and City leaders announced on Friday that they signed on to the My Brother’s Keeper Mayor’s Pledge. The pledge, which was announced during a recent Obama Foundation town hall, calls for mayors to take action on police reform and commit to reviewing policies, engaging the community, reporting the findings, and reforming policies.  

Mayor Tim Keller said, “Today as a City we are taking President Obama’s Mayor’s Pledge—a commitment to continue APD reforms along a model that creates additional outside accountability through My Brother’s Keeper. Pledges can often act as symbols, but this pledge has some accountability behind it. This is a continuation of the conversation about police reform and the work of rebuilding the trust between APD and the community. It’s work we’ve been engaged in for two years, but we have a long, long road to go, and we are facing those challenges head on.”

The following is the process the pledge calls for, as well as APD’s current status on each topic:

1. REVIEW the police use of force policies in your community.

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reviews its policies every six-months to a year. APD’s new use of force policies are currently being reviewed and will be available for public comment.

2. ENGAGE the community by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.

APD will provide opportunity for review of all of its use of force policies through the policy development process.  Comment can be made on policies at APD’s webpage.  In addition, during the most recent revisions to the use of force policies, APD held public forums and open meetings with the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and also met with several community groups and received their feedback on the policies.

3. REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.

APD will hold a meeting through its Office of Policy Analysis (OPA) to review its findings and present proposed changes to the use of force policies.  The public may attend the OPA meeting and provide feedback. I’ve attached the Policy Development Flow Chart for your reference.  Moreover, the Civilian Oversight Agency Executive Director and Board members attend this meeting, too. 

Additional options for the public to learn about APD’s policies, trainings, and tactics, as well as to provide feedback to APD, include:

  1. To find APD's policies, go to: https://www.cabq.gov/police/standard-operating-procedures/standard-operating-procedures-manual
  2. The community can see what policies will be reviewed by APD in upcoming meetings at: https://www.cabq.gov/police/standard-operating-procedures/draft-policies-to-be-reviewed-by-the-office-of-policy-analysis
  3. The community can comment on those policies by using the form at: https://www.cabq.gov/police/standard-operating-procedures

4. REFORM your community’s police use of force policies.

Under Mayor Keller and Chief Geier, APD’s policies have undergone significant reform, including the requirement that APD “make every effort to preserve the sanctity of human life in all situations.” 

APD’s policies restrict the use of force beyond the constitutionally minimum standard defined by the courts, and require officers to deescalate and to use the minimum amount of force that is reasonable, necessary, and proportional.

All of APD’s use of force policies have been and will be reviewed by the United States Department of Justice and the Independent Monitor who evaluates APD’s progress in the case of United States v. City of Albuquerque, a case initiated under the Obama administration.

During the news conference, Mayor Keller also signed a sixth emergency declaration. This declaration extends the previous emergency declaration, which allowed for the following:

  • Closures of certain facilities
  • Events cancelled
  • Waiving of fees for business license registration/renewal, inspection and permitting for temporary outdoor patio space to serve customers during the pandemic
  • Electronic signatures permitted
  • COVID-safe practices at grocery stores
  • Extending ability for businesses to use plastic bags

Please find the emergency declaration here.