Bernalillo County Sheriff responds after city councilor calls him out

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis recently fired off a letter to the local newspaper saying if Sheriff Manny Gonzales wants to help fight crime in the city, he needs to straighten up his department first. Then, on Monday, the sheriff responded with his own letter.

Friday during a press conference, Gonzales said there’s a reason you’re seeing more deputies roaming the city streets. “Because we are getting solicited by the public,” he said.

The sheriff admits there’s been an uptick in his deputies making arrests in the city center, usually where APD is the only agency working.

“He’s only taken interest in policing in the city, within the last few weeks, when he recently decided to consider a run for mayor,” Davis said.

That’s the exact tone Davis took when he wrote a letter last week and published it in the Albuquerque Journal. He said the sheriff’s operations have caused a lot of problems.

“It can be dangerous when we have different agencies working in the same neighborhood without talking to each other,” he said.

In his letter, Davis goes onto say if the sheriff wants to help tackle Albuquerque’s crime problems, his deputies should play by APD’s rules, which changed after the Department of Justice got here.

“They’re replicating all those bad policies like their chase policy, shooting policy, not wearing cameras, just the basics of how we ensure transparency and accountability,” Davis said.

The sheriff fired back Monday with his own letter in the newspaper.

“Every politician campaigned on public safety being the number one issue and I don’t see the money placed in those areas,” Gonzales said.

Instead, Gonzales said the city is too busy focused on marketing campaigns like “One Albuquerque” and mentioned the mayor’s “army of public relation employees” calling it all a distraction.

“I go based on what people are telling me in their communities and what they’re telling me is there’s a lack of law enforcement services,” he said.

Gonzales said the councilor’s letter was just an attempt to grab headlines because Davis is running for re-election.

“I’m tired of politicians waving their concerns about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” he said.

“It’s dangerous when the sheriff shows up for a couple of hours, along with a press conference to show off arresting folks, and doesn’t leave behind any long term help,” Davis said.

The mayor’s office said he was unavailable for an on-camera interview but issued the following statement:

Mayor Keller is focused on proactively fighting crime, that’s why he’s at APD this afternoon adding seven new sergeants, in addition to over 100 officers, to the police department to make our city safer.

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