Police union addresses chief's controversial comments

Posted at: 07/26/2013 10:32 PM
Updated at: 07/27/2013 12:27 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4 and KOB.com Staff

They are the three most controversial words of the week. “Nature at play” was uttered by outgoing Albuquerque Police chief Ray Schultz early in the week, on KOB-TV, while talking about infidelity within APD.

Opponents of Mayor Berry jumped all over the comment.

But there is one important group KOB Eyewitness News 4 has not heard from and that would be the officers themselves.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 talked to the union that represents them.

It is a perception sparked in part by the Levi Chavez murder trial.

The former APD officer slept with at least nine mistresses, a third of them officers.

It has been heightened by comments made by Chief Ray Schultz in an interview on KOB.

“In law enforcement, you've got young good looking folks that do this job.  It's our target group of employees, 20, 30, 40 year old men and women...we ask them to stay in good shape.  There's nature at play," Schultz said in an exclusive interview with KOB’s Tom Joles.

That comment was the topic of talk radio Thursday morning and on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal.

The police union says the portrayal of APD as a breeding ground for infidelity is way off base.

“Our police officers who serve and protect the city of Albuquerque are not all Levi Chavez’s. Do you have relationships within the department? Yes you do. But that was over heightened and sensationalized,” said union president Stephanie Lopez.

One former APD officer raised concerns about issues caused by romantic relationships within APD in 2009.

He told us a conversation began about those problems, but never went anywhere.

“I think it’s a deliberate act of indifference. I think they’re aware of it and they just don’t want to confront it,” said former officer Tom Grover.

But the union says there are already safeguards in place.

"We have responsible men and women in this department who protect and serve and are more than adequate mentally and physically to make sound decisions for themselves,” said Lopez.

The union has faith in their officers.