ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People around Albuquerque are sounding off about reforms they’d like to see the Albuquerque Police Department undertake. City Council President Pat Davis conducted the online survey as a way for people to still engage in the discussion in a safe way during the pandemic. From Friday, June 13 through Monday, June 15, 2020, about 10,053 people from all districts in Albuquerque responded to the online poll.
“I think the big takeaway is, you know, when I and other councilors ran for re-election just last summer, the big issue was how fast can we hire more cops. In just one year, you see that survey is now changing to how fast can we slow hiring cops and hire more social workers and intervene-rs in other places,” Davis said.
When asked if the city should prioritize hiring more police officers or increasing funding for community programs, a vast majority supported investing in community groups. Respondents were also asked to rank policy changes that lower APD’s budget and create more funding for other programs. Fifty-one percent of respondents said APD should not respond to non-emergency calls like minor accidents and lost property, taking those reports by phone or online instead.
People in the community shared their views on police reform they’d like to see.
“I’m afraid for the officers because of all the crime that’s happening, they shouldn’t do defunding, the police department doesn’t need to be defunded, I disagree with that, they need the funds,” one Albuquerque resident, who didn’t want to share her name, said. “Interaction would be very good, especially with teenagers and maybe this will keep a lot of these kids from drugs.”
“I believe we should not take funds away from make APD, rather, how do we reallocate those funds to make APD more effective and efficient but also still cause systemic change so that society as a whole values life,” Paul Aitken, an Albuquerque resident, said.
“The precincts in the community needs to know what’s going on in the community that they are responsible for what are the concerns of the citizens, just answer general questions that would maybe make the community feel safer and more connected,” Toni, an Albuquerque resident, said.
In the survey, respondents were asked which police reforms they’d support:
- 85% supported requiring every officer to wear and use cameras
- 81% supported bias-prevention training for every office
- 71% supported a civilian oversight board to investigate police wrongdoing complaints
- 71% supported prohibiting holds and tactics likely to cause severe injury, including chokeholds and taser strikes to sensitive areas
- 61% supported creating community-based justice workers to help those with a criminal record access expungement, removing them from the criminal justice system and giving them a fresh start
- 59% supported requiring officers to do 8 hours of volunteer service with community groups
- 56% supported prohibiting the city from receiving military equipment for civilian law enforcement use
Councilor Davis said a lot of respondents also commented with suggestions for the department that he says the department already does.
“Like more psychological testing, more bias-prevention training, and it turns out we have implemented all those in the last five years and the public doesn’t really have a good sense of what we’ve done,” he said. “That means we probably have a bigger and better job to do in terms of talking about where we come from and what else we can do next.”
Councilor Davis said data from the survey will be used when discussing APD’s budget in July and the city’s budget in August. The survey is open for participation until the end of the month and can be https://mailchi.mp/patforabq.com/lets-talk-about-blm-defund-the-police-whats-next-for-abq?fbclid=IwAR02pMaeaBpubiam49wJXhrNtb-Wes4EuNHGvCWacW1ikuEzW21XYgjJKoc.
To view all the survey results, visit https://www.cabq.gov/council/find-your-councilor/district-6/news/9-500-residents-provide-input-on-police-reform-through-councilors-community-survey