ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As crime and caseloads pile up in the city, the Albuquerque Police Department is trying to strengthen its detective unit. This week, APD started its first-ever Detective Academy. “I always thought if you’re able to you should,” said APD Officer Norman Shatto. He said he’s always wanted to help his community. “And I have that ability so I should put it to good use,” said Ofc. Shatto.
Two years ago, he joined APD and this week he joined the Detective Academy.
“For a long time we’ve failed as a department and this is part of our ability to course correct and ensure that we train everybody so they can do the best possible,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. He said before this academy, detectives were trained step by step or in stages and now it’ll be a more streamlined approach to help detectives in different units become better investigators.
In turn, they said it will help prosecute cases.
“I quickly saw that some of the issues having with court cases were just based off of advanced basics what I would call it, the art of interviewing someone properly, developing a good criminal complaint, articulating facts well and being able to get an individual in an interview or interrogation to admit certain facts that would help you prosecute the case,” said Chief Medina.
Mayor Tim Keller said there are not enough investigators and the caseloads are piling up. So far this year, APD is investigating 53 homicide cases. Keller believes this academy will help recruit officers to the investigative units. “We do believe this is a very significant long-term investment in preventing future backlogs for investigative cases and we also think this will increase the quality in current investigative work,” said Keller.
This will give officers, like Shatto, access to training to become better investigators. “I think from transitioning from field to detective you’re kind of thrown into it there’s no real structure,” said Shatto. “So now there will be one going into that field.”
APD said the academy will be mandatory for detectives and field officers can choose to take part. APD is trying to make it a biannual training.