ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County Commissioners have passed an ordinance aimed at making the Sheriff’s Office more transparent. County Commissioners approved the creation of an advisory and review board Tuesday night.
The board, made up of civilians, will review the sheriff’s policies, practices, and procedures, and make suggestions. However, the board will not have any actual control over how the Sheriff’s Office operates.
“Let’s establish a place where conversation can happen, it provides the county, the public, and the Sheriff, a place where they can have a conversation about mutual concerns,” said James Collie, Bernalillo County Commissioner for District 3.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, Commissioner Collie explained the board will create a more open form of communication between the Sheriff’s Office, the Commission, and the public. Commissioners say they’ve received a lot of input from the community regarding issues like body cameras, since they don’t oversee the sheriff, they feel the board will open a dialogue on those issues.
The board will not have any control over the way Sheriff Manny Gonzales runs the department or his policies. The nine members will review those policies and provide feedback on both the sheriff and the commission.
KRQE News 13 asked Sheriff Gonzales what this Advisory Board means for his office moving forward. “To be honest with you Stephanie, I have not reviewed it. I don’t know officially what that ordinance says. I will have a review of that document and then I’ll be able to respond,” said Sheriff Gonzales. KRQE News 13 asked Sheriff Gonzales if the commission had included him in any of the discussions regarding the advisory board, he says they didn’t.
Each of the five County Commissioners will appoint one member to the advisory board. Four more members will be selected from a pool of applicants. Each member will serve a four-year term.
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