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Monthly Progress Update: APD Implements Robust Citizen Complaint Process

APD Officers Fully Trained on Accepting Citizen Complaints

Civilian oversight is a vital component of the Albuquerque Police Department’s continued reform process. To protect the integrity of investigations and to ensure a thorough review of citizen complaints, APD’s staff completed training on how to accept and process all citizen complaints.


Topics discussed during training:

  • New – The Department must receive all complaints regardless of when they are filed (there are no deadlines on filing a complaint).
  • Officers will be disciplined for refusing to accept a complaint, discouraging the filing of a complaint or providing false information about complaints.
  • Anonymous and 3rd party complaints will be accepted.
  • Complaints can be submitted verbally, in writing, in person, online, via the mail or by fax.
  • Complaints may not be changed or discarded.
  • Spanish complaint forms must be available.
  • Complaints given to field officers must be forwarded to Internal Affairs by the end of the following shift.
  • Internal Affairs must forward complaints to the Civilian Police Oversight Agency within three business days.
  • If a complaint alleges criminal misconduct, Internal Affairs shall be notified immediately by the first line supervisor.
  • APD employees are required to report misconduct by other APD employees to a first line supervisor.
  • Failure to report or document misconduct is grounds for discipline and possible termination.
  • Retaliation in any form against anyone who files a complaint is strictly prohibited.


Citizens are encouraged to file a complaint when they witness questionable behavior by an officer or an APD employee. Complaints forms can found online:, as well as at all public libraries, police substations, recreation centers and can be submitted over the phone at (505) 294-3770.

Once a complaint is filed, it is thoroughly investigated by the Civilian Police Oversight Agency which makes a formal recommendation to the department.

This press release is the third in a series of now monthly installments updating the public on progress related to the Department’s reform efforts.

The Citizen Complaint Process is also outlined in APD’s Standard Operating Procedure 3-43.