We’ve been waiting a grip of time for an updated Albuquerque Police Department annual Use of Force report and its sibling Accountability Report Card. The last one done was a compilation of 2017 data.

This late filing of court-required reports has been a thorn in the side of the city, because these reports are required to be filed in a timely manner under the Department Of Justice Court Approved Settlement Agreement. The definition of “timely” does not seem to be two years later. The federal independent monitor assigned to oversee the reform efforts has made mention of this reporting tardiness; promises were made and not kept. Finally, the reports are here. 

Okay, Ready

APD Interim Police Chief Harold Medina and some of the department’s other brass held a virtual town hall meeting on December 18th to talk about the recently released Use of Force and Accountability Reports and the data summing up years 2018 and 2019. This data showed crime trending down overall during those years. But no data, interim or otherwise, on the year 2020. I guess one question was just how pertinent are these years-old numbers as we face down the last few days of an unprecedented 2020? But numbers are always good to see and, hopefully, we will not have to wait two years to see 2020’s numbers.

Smile, You’re On Zoom

Appearing in a webinar were Interim Chief Medina, Commander Cori Lowe, Deputy Chief Eric Garcia along with APD Commander Sean Frick and data analysts Sean Gassner and Katherine Jacobs.

Interim Chief Medina took over a hornets’ nest earlier this year when the former chief was asked to retire. The city is currently looking for a permanent chief—a position Medina is in the running for as he has had to try to mitigate a mess.

While the data should have been the highlight of the hour and a bit, it wasn’t for this reporter, because the data is old. What was important was the presentation by a seemingly unified group of police trying to reassure an unsure public.

It May Not Look Like It But We Are Trying

Interim Chief Medina opened the presentation by saying he is looking forward to being part of a local and national discussion about police reform. He said Albuquerque is ahead of the national conversation because we started the process years ago. He said this is especially true with the city’s Civilian Police Oversight Agency. “Other major cities are just now doing this,” he said. “One of our primary goals is to work better with our own CPOA and provide them with the necessary information so they can do their job.” While there were other presentations, their contents were not as important as APD’s attempt to put a unified positive spin on some old crime data.

To properly digest all the information in the reports go to cabq.gov/police/documents-related-to-apds-settlement-agreement.

To watch the badges in their town hall click play below.