Rio Rancho Police admit failure to investigate crash-prone cop


A Rio Rancho Police officer with a track record of getting into crashes in her patrol car remains on the job. Last month, police told us she went under an internal investigation for her latest crash that totaled her unit, but that wasn’t exactly the case.

Rio Rancho Police Officer Brittany Mahnesmith was on duty when she rear-ended another driver on Highway 528, back in April. She admitted the crash was her fault.

Last month, a spokesperson with the Rio Rancho Police Department told KRQE News 13, Officer Mahnesmith was under internal investigation for the incident.

KRQE News 13 requested the results of that investigation, but the city said in an email, there is no internal investigation into that accident and it has yet to be reviewed. News 13 asked why.

Friday, a spokesperson with the police department said each crash goes through a Crash Review Board within a month of an incident. The board is made up of five officers and a lieutenant.

Once the board reviews the crash, the board then decides if that officer should undergo an internal investigation. The board also looks into the officer’s crash history.

In this case, there is a history. Officer Mahnesmith has been in at least four crashes in the last two years. Three of those were determined to be her fault.

A spokesperson with Rio Rancho Police says the board is looking into why the incident hasn’t been reviewed in a timely manner. They say there seems to have been an oversight into the case, and they are now looking into the incident, now that KRQE News 13 has brought it to their attention.

An internal investigation isn’t launched after every accident. Police say it depends on the circumstances and severity of the crash, and the officer’s driving history.

Discipline for an officer involved in a crash can range anywhere from a write-up, to additional training, or termination.

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