ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is monitoring police misconduct and holding officers accountable with an office-wide database. They announced the project last year and now have more specifics about what will put an officer on the list.
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The district attorney’s office says there’s a need for monitoring and investigating dishonesty, bias, and other damaging behavior by police officers. Leaders say the system will help do just that. “We’re the first office in the country to come up with a systematic integrity questionnaire that we provide to officers sending us felony cases,” said District Attorney Raul Torrez.
Brady-Giglio disclosures are a way to share information that impacts a witness’s credibility. Leaders with the Bernalillo County DA’s office say this is one way to advance criminal justice reform. “Prosecutors need to take a leading role in reshaping the criminal justice system to provide more transparency and accountability and I frankly believe this is something you’re going to start seeing across the nation,” Torrez said.
The automated system has been in effect for several months now and a Giglio questionnaire is sent to officers. “When we intake these cases we conduct this integrity screening and then we meet here in the office there’s a panel that reviews the information and then if a disclosure has to be made then a filing is made in court and also provided to defense attorneys,” Torrez said.
In the past, attorneys in New Mexico have questioned the credibility of officers involved in active cases due to their own misconduct like being criminally charged for a DWI while off duty. Right now, there are 12 police officers listed on the DA’s office website. “Of all the cases that we screen and intake, the vast majority of the officers that we work with don’t have any of those issues that are subject to disclosure,” Torrez said.
Torrez believes the system is going to provide more accountability in law enforcement. “It helps restore confidence in their work and confidence in the type of police work that they’ve been engaged in for a long long time,” he said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office for comment but are still waiting to hear back.
The public has access to filed notices of disclosure on the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office website under the transparency and accountability tab.