City lawmakers deferred changes to the civilian oversight ordinance, got formal receipt of the recent collective bargaining agreement with the city’s police department and appointed members to the 2022 redistricting committee.
The big item on the agenda was changing the city’s civilian police oversight ordinance. Recent restlessness on the part of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA) board members have brought some issues to the attention of the council. The CPOA is a volunteer board that reviews use-of-force complaints in particular, investigations and police policy and procedures.
CPOA board problems include several recent resignations from the board, leaving the remaining members with low morale and questioning their roles. Other problems that impede the job they are asked to do, they said, is that the police chief does not have to follow their recommendations and often dismisses their input. Also, they feel there are too many complaints and too wide of a range of complaints.
The bill on the table is a bi-partisan bill sponsored by Councilors Brook Bassan, Pat Davis and Isaac Benton. It recommends major changes to the ordinance such as decreasing the size of the board and limiting the scope of complaints investigated.
It was a good thing that they deferred it because some Councilors had to go off on long monologues that clouded the discussion. Some of these changes had been discussed at other meetings but some amendments were brought up at the table. The council will take a look at the proposed changes before the next meeting, when these issues will be on the table once again.
Blue Hand Shake
Councilors approved the recently approved collective bargaining agreement with the city’s police department. Speakers addressing the Council said it was one of the longest negotiations but they are pleased with it. “We believe we have a fair contract with the city, we have a fair contract with the officers,” one speaker said.
Other approvals included amending and then appointing the 2022 redistricting committee. Another deferred item was adding Albuquerque Public Schools to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Commission.
One of the items usually on each agenda is appointments to the city’s boards and commissions. These citizens put in their time and energy to help shape the city. Appointments to the Senior Advisory Board were Dr. Sheila Hundley, Raymond Taylor Jr. and Teresa Haering. Alfred J. Deguio was appointed to the Airport Advisory Council. Pamela Britton to the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Council. For more information check it out here: cabq.gov/clerk/boards-commissions.
The next meeting of the City Council is set for a Zoom meeting at 5pm on March 7. Watch it at GOV-TV at cabq.gov or on Comcast Cable Channel 16 or on the city’s YouTube channel.