ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Statement from Mayor R.J. Berry, pertaining to DOJ investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department:
I would like to thank Assistant US Attorney Tom Perez, US Attorney for New Mexico Ken Gonzales and their team for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the City of Albuquerque today.
I want to begin by stating that I believe all parties here today share a set of common goals.
- To protect and serve our community
- To keep our police officers safe
- To foster community outcomes that build trust between those we serve and our police department
I believe in our police officers and I believe in this police department.
Our community should as well.
I also believe that community outcomes and community trust in our department is vital.
We should always look for improvements in how we serve and we should continue to maintain a candid dialogue between all stakeholders in this process.
Our response to the Department of Justice during this investigation will remain as it has since the DOJ first announced that they were conducting an informal inquiry into APD well over a year ago; we will make cooperation, professionalism and collaboration the order of the day.
As your Mayor I will continue to push for innovation and accountability from our police department and I have every confidence that the 60 reforms we have proactively made to training, policies and procedures, prior to this investigation have made a very real and positive difference in our community and for our officers.
As the investigation unfolds in the coming months we will continue to address issues if
and when they arise.
We will tackle issues head on - just as we have done since I took office and we will not shy away from difficult decisions that need to be made for the betterment of Albuquerque.
We will continue to strive for positive community outcomes, while working to insure that officers return safely to their families at the end of their shifts.
When informed about the pending investigation, one of my first questions to the DOJ was this; Has the DOJ identified urgent issues, that as the Mayor I need to address today?
The answer from the DOJ was NO; and that's important for all of us to understand.
This is an investigation concerning officer use of force and systems and policies that have been in place for decades in many cases.
Transparency and accountability have been the hallmark of my administration and we will continue this tradition with an open book policy with the Department of Justice towards the work that lies ahead.
Our first meetings with the DOJ during the past few days have been positive and are already producing meaningful dialog.
In addition to the dramatic changes that we have already made within the Albuquerque Police Department's policies and procedures over the past two years, we are open to discuss best practices that have shown proven results.
Chief Schultz and my administration will work with the DOJ and we will strive to insure that any proposed recommendations stemming from this investigation are pragmatic, and that changes in policy and procedure will have the potential for measurable results and will consider the wellbeing of our citizens and officers alike.
I am confident at this point that this is the goal of everyone involved.
As we work during the coming months Ilook forward to a candid and open dialog with the Department of Justice, our community and those we serve.
Mayor of Albuquerque,
Richard J. Berry
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