ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Advisory and Review Board released an annual report to the department. In it, they recommend some things, but one of them stands out above the rest. They want the office to end its relationship with the reality TV show “On Patrol.”
The 90-page report took input from the community and others. The recommendations were presented in front of the County Commission earlier this week.
The Review Board Chairman Tommy Jewell said the biggest takeaway is getting the Sheriff’s Office to better serve the community, saying their role is to highlight fixable issues inside the department.
“I always caution that our role is not to cozy up so much to the sheriff, but to be a conduit for communication to the public,” said Chairman Jewell.
One of the biggest concerns raised is the Sheriff’s Office’s involvement with filming for On Patrol Live. The community wants the Sheriff’s Office to cease operations with the reality television series.
“We had members of the community and public come forward and express some opinion about that. We arrived at some advice. If you know that cameras are rolling for TV, it just kind of changes everybody’s behavior. That might distract a deputy from focusing on whatever mission he had regarding his obligation to protect and serve the public,” said Jewell.
New Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said the department has since put a stop to filming with On Patrol Live.
“I want to focus on crime; we heard about that today. I don’t want deputies to be worried about TV cameras, to be worried about administrators scheduling TV shows. We are focused on one thing right now, and that is crime within Bernalillo County,” said Sheriff Allen.
The board is also recommending changes to images used on department recruitment vehicles.
“There is some concern that some of these symbols are associated with anarchy and right-wing groups, and we don’t think that they should appear on sheriff’s cars,” added Jewell.
Sheriff Allen said the message is loud and clear. “We are looking at other graphics. We want to make sure as a new administration and to represent all the people of Bernalillo County to make sure that we have the correct wraps on our vehicles.”
Sheriff Allen said the vehicle in question has since been parked and is working to issue changes. This is only the second year this board has released one of these reports.
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The review board is also recommending changes to the department’s use of force terminology, saying the policies are vague and need more context as to how and when a deputy should intervene in those situations if they were to arise.