The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) gave presentations on the Department of Justice settlement agreement to the six (6) Community Policing Council meetings.
The very elaborate process used to draft and approve new or revised APD policy was presented to the Community Policing Council’s with a “flow chart”.
The process for developing APD policy, practices and procedure is essentially by committee and committee referrals.
Tossing the flow chart, here are the steps followed to draft APD policy under the Department of Justice Consent decree:
1. Existing standard operating procedure (SOP) goes to the Office of Policy Analysis (OPA) where all the stakeholders give input.
2. The Office of Policy Analysis (OPA) drafts new or revised SOP.
3. The new SOP goes to the “SOP Review Committee” and input is given by “subject matter” experts and a final draft of SOP is prepared and APD proposals are also considered.
4. The new SOP goes to the “Policy and Procedures Review Board” (PPRB) for review and they send it to
5. Office of Policy Analysis (OPA) for final review to ensure appropriateness and consistency with other APD Policy and then it is sent for
6. Review and approval by Chief of Police and City Attorney to see if it relates to the settlement agreement
7. If Chief and City Attorney do not approve, it goes back to step one, and the process starts all over again.
If the SOP is approved by Chief and City Attorney, it then must be reviewed and approved by all the parties to the lawsuit and consent decree.
8. The revised or new SOP goes to the federal monitor who must approve it and then it is sent to the federal judge for final approval.
The federal court appointed monitor can only audit and report on the process and cannot help write any new policy, even though he has the expertise.
However, the city hired a retired federal court magistrate judge, who has no prior experience writing police policy, to help write APD policy.
The retired federal court magistrate was hired to help draft SOP after the city attorney acknowledge that the so called inhouse experts at APD consisting of high ranking command staff were having difficulty writing the policy.
Chief Eden defended giving retention bonuses to his command staff saying he needed their institutional knowledge to help him implement the Department of Justice reforms and write new SOP policy.
Many of the APD command staff who are responsible for drafting and review of new APD policy under the DOJ consent decree include those who created, contributed or who did not stop the culture of aggression found by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Included in the writing and review of APD policy under the DOJ consent decree is the Assistant Chief of Police who retired as the commander of the APD SWAT Unit that the DOJ was so critical of in its 2014 finding of a culture of aggression.
It is a wonder that anything really gets done in writing new policy and explains why it has taken two years to get any SOP policy approved by the federal court.
You would think the process could be streamlined, but I would be concerned the City will create the “Streamline Committee” to get it done.