Mayor asks DOJ to expedite investigation, enter into negotiations to monitior APD

Posted at: 04/02/2014 2:59 PM
Updated at: 04/02/2014 6:16 PM
By: Steve Mieczkowski,

Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry has sent a letter to the Department of Justice, asking the DOJ to expedite their investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Berry has also requested the DOJ to enter into negotiations to develop a plan to monitor APD.

In the letter sent to the DOJ, Mayor Berry stated, "I believe that a cooperative monitoring partnership agreement with the DOJ, along with the sweeping reforms listed provide an opportunity to improve outcomes and confidence throughout the community while at the same time maintaining the Albuquerque Police Department's long standing commitment to excellence and adaptability to challenges facing public safety professionals."

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Berry said it was difficult to write the letter to the DOJ. He said he wants APD officers to know he is still supportive and proud of them.

"We do not want (officers) to see this as an indictment of them by the mayor's office," Berry said.

Berry also asked for community assistance. "There is something for everyone to do here," Berry said.

Berry, along with APD chief Gorden Eden, is formulating a plan to increase community involvement in police oversight.

Chief Eden is also mandating that 100 percent of field services bureau officers get crisis intervention training and certification as soon as possible. Berry said that all graduates from June's cadet class will have the training.

In an interview following the conference, Chief Eden stressed that today's announcement does not indicate that the DOJ is taking over the department.

"This should in no way be looked at as a DOJ takeover of APD," Eden said.

View Mayor Berry's letter to the Department of Justice