ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new federal report dissects the problems inside the Albuquerque Police Department’s backlog and handling of the use of force cases. APD has been facing a backlog of use of force cases that need investigation. According to the report, the most use of force cases come out of in the southeast command center area.
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External force investigative team, the outside group the city and department of justice hired, is hoping for it. “The new scope if going to help address the back log of force investigation that are sitting there currently,” said Zak Cottrell, interim deputy superintendent of police reform, Albuquerque Police Department, “I know this has been a big topic with everybody right now there’s 600 plus uses of force that haven’t been investigated yet.”
EFIT reviewed 141 use of force incidents over the last 90 days and filed their report yesterday in federal court. Since 2020, the department has been involved in over 660 use of force incidents.
One hundred forty-one cases have been reviewed by EFIT. Fifteen cases that were closed by internal affairs the force used in the case did not follow a-p-d policies. 34 percent of all cases investigated were not done properly.
Last week the city announced EFIT would take over the investigations over the internal affairs department. Opponents to this oversight were not happy when this announcement was made.
“These investigators, they are not cheap, so this is another attribute of millions of dollars being spent by taxpayers of this community because of this of reaching consent decree that has been going on for the last 8 years,” said Shaun Willoughby, President, Albuquerque Police Officers Association
However, there is good news. The report does say that 11 officers and civilians working for APD’s internal affairs are nearing certification to take over what e-fit does. They are also concerned about internal affairs staffing levels which currently do not meet the federal agreed requirement.
KRQE News 13 did reach out to the mayor’s office for comment on APD’s performance but did not comment. EFIT says all use of force case investigations will be done within 60 days. Supervisors inside the department will have 30 days to review it to see if any officer discipline is needed.