Police Union President “Pops Off” About A “So Called” Culture Of Aggression

No surprise at all that the police union and its president are standing by how officers handled a welfare check for a 7-year-old child allegedly abused by her parents.

Mayor Keller announced that an Internal Affairs investigation into how up to six APD police officers responded to a teacher’s concerned and call about the child’s blood stained underwear.

In a television interview, Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association president Shaun Willoughby said:

“We stand by due process. We stand by the process to investigate these, and that these officers have rights too and that those rights are honored.”

The entire interview can be seen here:

http://www.koat.com/article/apd-union-president-stands-by-officers-who-responded-to-7-year-old-s-welfare-check/20969459

What is pathetic is that Willouby stands by the actions of the investigating officers, when on the lapel camera video released it showed the officer talking to the child’s teacher and the police officer did not show the slightest sign of curiosity, concern nor desire to take the child’s underwear and go back and talk to the child to find out if something was wrong like he had done just hours earlier.

The fact that the child was reported by the teacher to have been unkept, dirty and smelling of urine time and again and had blood stained underwear was sure the hell not “speculation” of child neglect and screamed out something was happening to the child, yet the officers did nothing.

The teacher testified in court that the APD officer told her that the child’s underwear was not kept in a secured place, that the court would have a field day with that, and that he could not tag it into evidence and for those reasons the officer trashed the blood stained underwear of the child.

Keller and APD interim Chief Mike Geier announce the department will begin implementing policy changes to improve the way things are done to avoid missteps on how child welfare calls are handled by APD.

The policy changes will include how evidence is handled, how body camera footage is retained and how officers are trained to conduct trauma-informed interviews.

Keller said during the press conference the policies aim to reform what he called an “old culture” within APD.

In response to the Mayor, Willoughby proceeds to “pop off” and says the “so-called old culture” has already been tackled since the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating APD’s practices.

That “so-called culture” Willoughby was referring to was the “culture of aggression” found within APD that has resulted in 32 police officer involved shootings and $62 million paid in settlements for civil rights violations.

The police union and its president have been part of the problem when it comes to the DOJ consent decree and implementation of the reforms and they have resisted change.

The police union has attended the court hearing and has participated in the rewrite of the use of force policies and deadly force policies and contributed to the delay in negotiations and implementation of city policies mandated by the consent decree.

Every time the union president speaks before the federal court, he complains and objects to the reforms.

The police union and its president also need to standby the department motto of “to serve and protect”, especially when it comes to the children of our community.

Mayor Tim Keller’s Accomplishments, Missteps and Mistakes

Mayor Tim Keller was sworn into office on December 1, 2017.

Keller will have completed a full six months in office on June 1, 2018.

The first 6 months is used to hire key staff, make appointments, prepare a budget and announce major policy changes to be relied upon as a blueprint for the term.

The first six months of a new Mayor’s administration is the customary time frame to take note of major accomplishments, missteps and mistakes in order to grade success.

In the 6 months, Mayor Keller’s accomplishments can be listed as followings:

1. Appointed experienced city hall people like James Lewis, Lawrence Rael and David Campbell to key positions and woman to executive positions including Sarita Nair as Chief Administration Officer, Shelle Sanchez as Cultural Services Director, Mary Scott as Human Service Director and Ana Sanchez as Senior Affairs Director and Nyka Allen as Aviation Director.

2. Appointed a new Interim APD Police Chief and Interim Deputy Chiefs who are either retired or from within APD and shuffling and reorganizing the APD command staff and personnel staff. These interim appointments have stabilized the department somewhat.

3. Publicly committed to a federal judge in private and a court hearing to implement the Department of Justice reforms which are required under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). The Federal Monitor is now providing “technical assistance” to APD and APD now has a compliance bureau.

4. Signing a city council-initiated $55 million dollar a year tax increase. Keller broke a campaign promise not to raise taxes without a public vote. The increased tax revenues raised is going towards a projected $40 million deficit. 80% of the new tax revenues are dedicated to public safety.

5. Submission and enactment of a $577 million balanced general fund budget with highlights including increases in funding for more police, increased funding in social services and youth programs and $1.5 million to address the backlog of more than 4,000 untested rape kits. APD has 898 sworn police when you include a recent graduating cadet class. The 2018-2019 approved budget funds 1,040 full time sworn police officer positions.

6. Proposed an $88 million-dollar APD police expansion program over 4 years increasing the number of sworn police officers from 898 positions filled to 1,200, or by 302 sworn police officers, over a four-year period. Keller has vowed to return to community-based policing.

7. Attempting to salvage the $135 million ART bus project calling it “turning lemons into lemonade”. Keller has yet been able to secure the $69 million federal grant funding from congress after going to Washington and lobbying for a commitment.

8. Negotiating a $8 million settlement with the Albuquerque firefighters union, ending a pay raise dispute that dates back to 2011 when the previous administration was at impasse with all the City Unions.

9. Successful negotiation of a two-year contract with the police union providing for $12.2 million dollars in hourly wage increases and longevity pay increases to experienced police officers.

10. Announcing implementation of major changes to the city’s twenty five-year old DWI vehicle forfeiture program in response to a federal court ruling in a pending case. The policy change includes the city not seeking ownership of a vehicle and sell it at auction unless the suspect is convicted of DWI.

11. Signing a symbolic decriminalization of pot ordinance and a symbolic City Council resolution reaffirming Albuquerque is an “immigrant friendly” city as opposed to a “sanctuary city”, with both initiatives being city council initiatives and not the Mayor’s.

12. Mayor Tim Keller has taken photo ops to a new level by attending protest rallies to speak at, attending marches, attending heavy metal concerts to introduce the band, running in track meets and participating in exhibition football games as the quarterback and enjoying re-living his high school glory days, and posting pictures and videos on FACEBOOK. People can take great pride with the positive image Mayor Keller is portraying.

Mayor Keller has had missteps and has made mistakes during his first 6 months in office.

TIM KELLER MISSTEPS WITH APPOINTMENTS MADE

One appointment misstep indicated a failed “vetting process” for political appointments.

A vetting misstep occurred when a City Clerk nominee withdrew her acceptance of Keller’s appointment because her financial problems and tax lien problems when investigated and reported upon by the Albuquerque Journal.

A second appointment misstep was soliciting and appointing beyond the advertised application closing date a City Attorney who needed to be confirmed by the City Council.

The soliciting and appointing a city attorney after the closure date for applications and after all applicant interviews had been conducted resulted in the charge of political cronyism against Keller’s Chief Administrative Officer who knows and went to law school with the city attorney selected.

The city attorney appointment misstep could have been easily avoided by advertising the position further and expanding the application time to have more interviews and solicit more applicants.

MISTAKES WITH THE APD CHIEF SELECTION PROCESS

Keller announced appointment of a 5-member selection committee and process for a permanent APD chief with the goal of hiring a chief by mid-June, 2017.

The selection committee consists of a former APD Captain, the Fraternal Order of Police President and 3 Keller Administration employees with no one from the general public nor affected groups.

There are no representatives on the chief’s selection committee from the American Civil Liberties Union, APD Forward, the District Attorney’s Office nor Public Defenders Office, nor any Hispanic, Native American or other minority groups nor communities affected by police actions.

There is no representation on the selection committee from any one of the stake holders in the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating implementation of reforms and no representation from the Police Oversight Commission nor the Community Policing Counsels.

The APD Chief position was not posted nor advertised until May 1 with all applications requiring to be received by May 21 with less than 3 full weeks to collect resumes and do interviews by the selection committee and make recommendations to Mayor Keller.

The Keller Administration wants to complete the selection process and have the new APD Chief confirmed by the City Council before the City Council goes on summer break in mid-June.

The Keller Administration also wants a new chief in place before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2018.

The city council’s calendar and its summer break in no way should be rushing the process.

The selection committee should interview for the position of Chief and 3 deputy chief police positions in order to hire a management team that can take over APD.

Mayor Keller simply cannot afford to get this one appointment wrong because Albuquerque’s public safety is at stake.

MISTAKES FROM INEPT MANAGEMENT CREATING A PUBLICE RELATIONS NIGHTMARE

A major mistake by Mayor Keller was defending APD in the evidence gathering of a child abuse case where the blood-stained underwear of a seven-year-old child was collected by the child’s teacher.

The APD officer refused to take the child’s blood-stained garment and tag it into evidence.

Initially, both Mayor Keller and Interim Chief Geier insisted that no one with APD violated any policies or procedures, including when an APD officer tossed out the evidence.

Keller and Geier doubled down when they said that officers and detectives did everything they could with the information they had at the time.

Mayor Keller and Chief Geier defending the actions of APD they knew absolutely nothing about, even after courtroom testimony of the teacher, speaks volumes of their management ineptness and worse their reluctance to hold APD accountable.

After Keller and Geier doubled down defending APD, it was reported that two APD officers and two detectives with APD’s Crimes Against Children Unit looked into the allegation the 7-year-old child had blood on her underwear, someone from APD in fact accessed the states Children Youth and Families law enforcement portal.

According to a city interoffice memorandum, APD Real Time Center operators were ordered to use the portal in all cases in which a juvenile has been injured or neglected, there is a history of violence, and in “all cases where a juvenile call originated from a school.”

In other words, APD was aware or should have been aware of the family’s lengthy history with the Children, Youth and Families Department when and APD officer and a CYFD investigator met with the child’s teacher at the girl’s school.

Only after intense media coverage did Keller order APD to launched an Internal Affairs investigation to provide a more complete accounting of the department’s interactions related to the incident involving the parents and the child.

Mayor Tim Keller made a stunning admission when said during the news conference to discuss the Internal Affairs Investigation that he was not given the full story of the police department’s handling of the case.

Keller went as far as to say during the news conference: “We did not get the full story, it’s the same old culture” and went on to say that it will take time to change the department’s culture and make it fully transparent and accountable.

For his part, Chief Geier said “This is not the old APD, we are not going to sweep this under the rug” and vowed to find out the truth of what happened.

It was inept management and a failed oversight mistake for Chief Geier and Mayor Keller not to order the Internal Affairs Investigation in the first place.

The events occurred last year, before they took office, was something they could not do anything about other than get to the truth about what actually happened to a 7-year-old child.

Mayor Keller and Chief Geier defended the actions of APD when they knew absolutely nothing about them, even after courtroom testimony of a teacher.

Both Keller and Geier reversed themselves after intense media coverage.

Their reversal speaks volumes of their management ineptness and worse their reluctance to hold APD accountable.

Keller’s mistake in this case can be understood given his lack of understanding of law enforcement procedures and the fact he is not an attorney and is ignorant of the law of evidence.

However, Interim Chief Geier should have known better given his 40+ years as a cop and his knowledge of the law.

Despite Geier’s denial to the contrary, what happened in the case is evidence that nothing really has changed with APD management practices of the past.

MISTAKES WITH ART CONTINUE WITH KELLER

Since taking office on December 1, 2018, Mayor Keller has been trying to clean up the $135 million-dollar disaster known as the ART Bus Project.

The Keller Administration itself created a problem with the ART buses when it took delivery of at least 10 of the buses in California where the buses were assembled.

Instead of being shipped by rail, the buses were driven across country and sustained damages which may not be covered by the warranty or have voided the warranty.

A bus manufacturer spokesman stated the busses were not designed for cross country driving and damages caused by the delivery may not be covered by the warranty.

After a full 7 months since the previous Mayor dedicated the project as “up and running” Keller reported the electric busses still do not hold a charge and the city is in contact negotiations with the manufacturer.

The electric buses delivered are suppose to operate for 275 miles but they cannot go more than 180 miles before they need charging, which means more buses or more bus stations are needed.

After 6 months in office, Keller reported that there is still no word if the $75 million federal grant will be forthcoming.

Keller has found former Mayor Berry’s rose-colored glasses when he sees the federal government giving the city the $75 million, something the Berry Administration repeatedly lie to the public about and said was a guarantee.

The city has been forced to use funding from its working capital improvement resources to pay for the project.

According to Keller, abandoning the ART Bus project is not feasible.

Keller claims “junking” ART and putting Central back to what it was before construction began would cost $200 million.

Renegotiating the contract would mean in part that the city keeps only some of the 15 buses delivered to the city.

In an update of the project, Keller said the city is looking to “divorce” itself from the manufacturer and in the process of renegotiating its contract with the firm.

If a “divorce” is what Keller really wants, he needs to hire a good lawyer, file suit and seek damages for breach of contract for all the delays and breach of warranties relating to the buses.

Litigation is why we have a city attorney’s office as well a risk management department that both have had no problem settling cases and dishing out $62 million dollars in police misconduct and deadly use of force cases.

Keller still clings to hope the busses will be up and running by September or by the end of next year.

MISSTEPS WITH RISING CRIME RATES

Violent crime rates, especially the city’s murder rate, continue to soar under Keller’s watch.

Since January 1 of this year, Albuquerque has had 35 murders and counting.

Mayor Keller has failed to address the community on what he will do about the city’s murder rate, if anything can be done, other than hiring more cops to patrol our streets and increase APD response times to 911 emergency calls.

911 emergency call response times continue to be at unacceptable levels and many times calls for service to APD to report crimes go unanswered for hours.

The Mayor and APD command staff have failed to announce major policy changes or specific plans on how to bring down APD response times to the national standard.

MISTEP WITH NO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Albuquerque and New Mexico have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

During the campaign for Mayor, candidate Keller proposed as a “big idea” creating personal or individual Tax Increment Districts (TIDS), more use of industrial revenue bonds and tax incentives to attract new industry to Albuquerque and create jobs.

The Keller Economic Development Department employs 11 full time employees with an approved annual budget of $3,922,000.

The Keller Administration has yet to announce any economic development plan that is any different than the previous administration, let alone proposing any “big ideas.”

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER MISHAPS

During the news conference by Mayor Keller and Chief Geier announcing an Internal Affairs Investigation (IA) in the case involving the blood-stained underwear of a seven-year-old child, the APD Spokesperson was given control over the press conference by Keller.

The APD spokesperson contradicted Mayor Keller’s decision and the need of the investigation when he said:

“We can’t just generate complaints based on speculation. … Somebody has to say something happened.”

Well something did happen and it was an inept criminal investigation of a child sexual abuse case and the handling of a referral from the state Children Youth and Families Department.

What happened at the press conference is a prime example the Keller Administration’s public information officers (PIOs) do not know exactly what they are doing nor how to stay on message.

Mixed messages were sent by the Keller Administration when it announced major changes to the DWI vehicle forfeiture program.

The changes to the DWI vehicle forfeiture program were in response to a pending federal case.

Media inquiries were left unanswered or different people responded to media and changes to the policy were announced on FACEBOOK.

Another failure in communication occurred when the Mayor’s office issued a press release regarding his signing of an ordinance banning the scourge of “coyote hunts” (sarcasm fully intended) in Albuquerque.

At the same time as the coyote hunt ban, no press release was issued when Keller signed the $55 million-dollar tax increase the same day breaking his promise not to raise taxes without a public vote.

Albuquerque appears to have a Mayor whose PIOs have no idea what his decisions are, nor understanding what his directives are, what he wants said to the media nor what he wants his top executives to be saying.

Keller needs to get a handle on his PIOs and order them trained and managed to stay on message.

Without training, we can expect the “amateur hour” to continue on the eleventh floor of city hall as well as the 5th floor of APD main.

CONCLUSION

Six months in office is not enough time to solve all of Albuquerque’s problems, especially when it comes to our rising crime rates and our economy.

Notwithstanding Keller’s short time in office, voters tend to be very impatient and are fickle minded changing loyalties with elected officials on a whim.

Voters gave Tim Keller an election mandate with a 62% landslide victory.

With all the promises he made during the campaign, Mayor Keller needs to be doing much better than he has during his first 6 months in office.

Voters are expecting the results Keller promised that he may not be able to deliver on as time progresses.

The leadership approach Mayor Tim Keller has taken is not at all inspiring and is the same old approach to our problems that no longer works.

Keller’s approach to governing thus far does not represent visionary change and in reality, it is not much of change at all, especially with the APD management team he has assembled and an economic development policy that appears to be nonexistent.

The appointed APD interim command staff does not represent a new generation of police management fully trained in constitutional policing.

Keller’s appointed APD command staff are a throwback and reliance on past management and practices of the department that have failed and contributed to the Department of Justice finding of a “culture of aggression”.

Trajectory indications from the first six months in office, the media relations, the executive appointments made and the accomplishment achieved by Mayor Keller are that Albuquerque is set to have another uninspiring approach to government filled with extensive photo ops, ribbon cuttings and social media communications.

If Mayor Keller’s first six months in office are any indication of what we are in store for, Keller may not go on to higher office as has been the case with virtually all of Albuquerque’s Mayors, let alone be re-elected Mayor come 2021 if he decides to run again.

ABQ Reports: ART Still a Mess, But There is Hope

May 30, 2018

BY: Dennis Domrzalski, ABQ Reports

(https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2018/05/30/Keller-ART-Still-a-Mess-But-There-is-Hope)

The $135 million Albuquerque Rapid Transit remains a mess, but there is a chance that it could start offering limited service in the fall, Mayor Tim Keller said Wednesday.

Federal funding for the project has yet to be approved, and there is no guarantee that it will ever come through, Keller said during an in-depth briefing on ART foe members of the news media. The 60-foot-long articulated electric buses still have numerous problems, have yet to be certified for being durable enough, and the city has decided to go to bid to have other companies build ART buses, Keller said.

“We have our shoulder to the wheel ans [ART] will someday be up and running,” Keller said.

Keller broke down ART’s problems and challenges into four areas: Construction, funding, buses and an implementation plan. Here’s how those four areas look right now:

– Construction. Major construction along ART’s nine-mile route on Central Avenue is finished. But lane striping, installing surveillance cameras on the ART platforms and the installation of better signage for motorists and pedestrians and the synchronization of traffic signals along the route continues.

– Funding. The Federal Transit Administration has yet to approve the $75 million grant for ART that former Mayor Richard Berry’s administration repeatedly said was a done deal. The good news, Keller said, is that Congress has appropriated money for ART and that the decision on whether to fund the project – which with the exception of the buses has already been built and paid for by the city – now rests with FTA officials in Washington, D.C., and the political whims of the nation’s capital.

“It is truly up to the FTA, they can always say no,” Keller said. “This truly is a choice by the FTA.”

Here’s what that means. If the FTA decides against funding the project, the city is out that money because it has already paid for its construction with its own money. That money came from capital projects that are funded by general obligation bonds and include things like street repairs and libraries and parks and stop signs and traffic lights. If the city doesn’t get the $75 million from the FTA, it will have to divert money from future capital projects for streets and parks to fund the capital projects that were raided to pay for ART.

– The buses. The 60-foot, articulated electric buses built by the Chinese company, BYD, continue to be a sort of mechanical and engineering disaster. The city specified in its contract with BYD for 18 ART buses that they needed to get 275 miles per charge. The buses are only getting 180 miles per charge, said Lawrence Rael, the city’s Chief Operating Officer. That means the city would have to order more buses or have a lot more charging stations so the buses can juice up along their routes.

So, BYD has agreed to build three more charging stations, one each at Uptown, Central and Tramway and Central and Unser.

“This is not an ideal situation,” Rael said.

There are more problems with BYD’s buses; they won’t be certified for use until at least early 2019. That’s both good and bad. It’s good because the city isn’t contractually obligated to pay for the buses until they are certified by an independent reviewer. It’s bad because the city can’t get any federal grant money for the buses until they are certified.

But Keller said the city is looking to “divorce” itself from BYD and is in the process of renegotiating its contract with the firm. That could mean that the city keeps only some of the 15 buses that BYD has delivered to the city so far.

– Implementation. Keller said the city explored three options about what to do about ART: Junk it, stick forever with BYD, or divorce BYD and try to take possession of some of its buses.

Junking ART and putting Central back to what it was before construction began would cost $200 million, Keller said.

Sticking with BYD until its buses are certified would mean that the system would not be operational until the winter of 2019, Keller said.

DINELLI COMMENTARY ON ARTICLE

A full six months into his term, and Keller is still dealing with the Albatross Rapid Transit (ART) project.

Keller is hoping ART will be up and running by the end of the year and thinking the city will be getting $75 million from the Feds.

Keller has found former Mayor Berry’s rose colored glasses when he sees the city getting anything from the feds.

If a “divorce” is what Keller really wants, he needs to hire a good lawyer now, file suit and seek damages for breach of contract for all the delays and breach of warranties relating to the buses.

Litigation is why we have a city attorney’s office as well a risk management department that both have had no problem dishing out $62 million dollars in police misconduct and deadly use of force cases.

Deciding to litigate for damages and delays would mean showing a little political backbone.

A 7 Year Old Child’s Blood Stained Underwear Sure The Hell Is Not Speculation

The May 30, 2018 Albuquerque Journal’s front-page story and especially the accompanying photo, was very problematic calling into question who is really in charge of APD.

The story headlines were “A line in the sand; APD, mayor promise review, changes after child abuse case”.

The entire article can be read here:

https://www.abqjournal.com/1177857/apd-launches-internal-affairs-probe-of-child-sex-trafficking-case.html

The 4 and a half inch by 7 inch accompanying front page color photo of Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Michael Geier sitting attentively at a table in the APD conference room and listening and looking up at APD spokesman Simon Drobik as he talked behind a podium with an APD logo on the front and American flag behind him spoke volumes.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The front-page story was about Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Geier’s press conference announcing an APD Internal Affairs Investigation to investigate if policy and procedures were violated by APD’s encounters with relatives and teachers of a 7-year-old girl.

The child’s blood-stained underwear was collected by a teacher and APD refused to tag it into evidence and just threw it away.

The APD officer had just met with the parents and the child on a welfare check before going to see the child’s teacher at the elementary school.

Just days before the press conference, both Mayor Keller and Interim Chief Geier repeatedly bent over backwards to defend the actions of APD saying no policies or procedures were violated.

During the press conference, Mayor Keller made the stunning admission that he and Chief Geier were not initially given the full story of the police department’s handling of the case.

At the beginning of the press conference, both Keller and Geier spoke for about 5 minutes and then sat down.

After speaking, Keller and Geier turned the entire press conference over to APD Spokesman Simon Drobik who spoke an responded to questions for about 45 minutes.

Drobik contradicted the Mayor and Chief for the need for the IA investigation when he said:

“We can’t just generate complaints based on speculation. … Somebody has to say something happened.”

The fact that the child was reported by the teacher to have been unkept, dirty and smelling of urine time and again and had blood stained underwear was sure the hell not “speculation” of child neglect and screamed out something was happening to the child.

No doubt Drobik thinks that a 7 year old child is capable of knowing when she is being neglected or abused so she can say something happened.

What is pathetic is that the investigating officer on his lapel camera video released showing him talking to the child’s teacher did not show the slightest sign of curiosity, concern nor desire to take the child’s underwear and go back and talk to the child to find out if something was wrong like he had done just hours earlier.

After six months in office, what happened at this press conference is yet another prime example that the Keller Administration is slowly developing the reputation that it and their public information officers (PIOs) do not know exactly what they are doing nor when nor how to stay on message.

Even worse, Albuquerque may have a Mayor whose PIOs have no idea or understanding what his directives are, what he wants said to the media nor what he wants his top executives to be saying.

Until Keller gets a handle on his PIOs we can expect the “amatuer hour” to continue on the eleventh floor of city hall and the 5th floor of APD main.

It’s called getting your story straight so as to avoid looking incompetent with your decisions and the messaging you want to convey.

APD Spokesman Simon Drobik needs to learn when to shut up so as not undercut his superiors, especially a Mayor who is giving direct orders.

A “Line In The Sand” A Stunning Admission Of “Head In the Sand”

Mayor Tim Keller and Interim Chief Geier announced at a press conference that they have ordered a formal internal affairs investigation into the Albuquerque Police Department’s encounters with relatives and teachers of a 7-year-old girl who prosecutors say was abused and trafficked.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1177857/apd-launches-internal-affairs-probe-of-child-sex-trafficking-case.html

The press conference was also used to announce a review of policies and procedures of APD when dealing with child sexual and physical abuse victims.

Keller’s appointed Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair said at the press conference:

“We have sort of two different issues going on in this case. … One is whether specific people followed specific policies. And then the other is whether those policies are in fact designed to move investigations the way that they should be moved. And if those policies are too broad or too narrow to really accomplish the goal of protecting kids.”

During the press conference, Mayor Tim Keller made the stunning admission that he and Chief Geier were not initially given the full story of the police department’s handling of the case when he said:

“This administration will admit to mistakes that it makes. … We will admit we must improve, and we are now drawing a line in the sand and saying that the weaknesses in the system that let our kids down are not acceptable anymore” and said the Internal Affairs investigation will produce a report detailing “the handling or mishandling of this case.”

Elaborating on Mayor Keller’s comments, Interim Chief Geier said “things just didn’t sit right” and so “we started digging.”

For his part, Chief Geier said “This is not the old APD, we are not going to sweep this under the rug. We’re gonna embrace change.”

Mayor Tim Kellers’ bold pronouncement of “drawing a line in the sand” and Chief Geier saying “we started digging” was a stunning admission that both Mayor Keller he and Interim Chief Geier had their heads in the sand for the past few weeks defending the actions of APD.

The Internal Affairs investigation is to provide Mayor Keller and Chief Geier with the complete details and the steps taken or missed by officers and detectives during interviews with family and school personnel.

The Internal Affairs investigation will also explore any other actions by APD personnel who had a role, or should have had a role, before a determination was made about allegations of child neglect or abuse.

A 180 DEGREE REVERSAL BY MAYOR AND CHIEF

The truth is a major management mistake by Mayor Tim Keller and Interim Chief Michael Geier occurred when they both defended APD in the evidence gathering in a child abuse case where the blood-stained underwear of a seven-year-old child was collected by the child’s teacher.

The scrutiny of the case and the defense of APD by the Mayor Keller and Chief Geier came after a three-day detention hearing of the child’s parents.

Apparently, Mayor Keller and Chief Geier do not watch or listen to the news because the detention hearing of the parents was covered intensely by the media.

The boyfriend of the child is charged with human trafficking, promoting prostitution, criminal sexual contact of a minor and other crimes.

The mother is charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A teacher testified in court under oath that she attempted to give the underwear to an APD officer who then refused to take the underwear and tag it into evidence for forensic evaluation and tossed the evidence in the trash.

What is regrettable is that this should not have happened given that the events occurred last year before Keller and Gier both assumed office, yet they both defended APD’s actions.

Both Mayor Keller and the Interim Chief Geier initially said no one with APD violated any policies or procedures even when an APD officer tossed out the evidence.

Both Keller and Geier then doubled down and said that officers and detectives did everything they could with the information they had at the time, which again was last year before they were in charge.

After Keller and Geier doubled down, it was reported that when two APD officers and two detectives with APD’s Crimes Against Children Unit looked into an allegation that the 7 year old child had blood on her underwear someone from APD in fact accessed the states Children Youth and Families law enforcement portal.

(May 29, 2018 Albuquerque Journal, front page, “APD likely aware of CYFD contacts with girl; Chief earlier said officers might have acted differently if they’d known the history)

It turns out that the past director of the Real Time Crime Center last year issued a directive to APD staff operators to look at a child’s contacts with CYFD sending out a procedural order laying out the center’s access to the CYFD’s law enforcement portal.

According to the city interoffice memorandum, APD Real Time Center operators were ordered to use the portal in all cases in which a juvenile has been injured or neglected, there is a history of violence and in “all cases where a juvenile call originated from a school.”

In other words, APD was aware or should have been aware of the family’s lengthy history with the Children, Youth and Families Department when and APD officer and a CYFD investigator met with the child’s teacher at the girl’s school.

On Friday, May 25, 2018, and only after intense media coverage, Mayor Keller and Interim Chief Geier ordered the Internal Affairs investigation to provide a more complete accounting of the department’s interactions related to a November 2017 incident involving the parents of the child.

INEPT MANAGERMENT REVEALED

It was inept management and a failed oversight mistake for the Chief and the Mayor not order the Internal Affairs Investigation in the first place seeing as the events occurred last year, before they took office and something they could not do anything about other than get to the truth about what actually happened.

Mayor Keller and Chief Geier defending the actions of APD they knew absolutely nothing about, even after courtroom testimony of the teacher, speaks volumes of their management ineptness and worse their reluctance to hold APD accountable.

Keller’s mistake in this case can be understood given his lack of understanding of law enforcement procedures and ignorance of the law of evidence.

However, Interim Chief Geier should have known better given his 40+ years as a cop and given his reluctance to act.

What happened is evidence that nothing has changed with APD management practices of the past despite Geier’s denial to the contrary and his pronouncement.

CONCLUSION

Mayor Tim Keller should have learned a valuable lesson the hard way from this mishap: not to presume and believe everything you are told to be true by law enforcement, a lesson many juries learn quickly only after all the evidence is gather and presented to them in a trial and court of law.

Hopefully Keller and Geier can learn from their mistakes in handling a public relations nightmare of their own creation.

In the meantime, both Mayor Keller and Chief Geier need to wash the sand out of their hair.

No One Should Respect A Hypocrite Like Pat Davis

In withdrawing from the First Congressional District race and endorsing Debra Haaland in the Democratic primary, City Councilor Pat Davis said:

“Out-of-state SuperPACs have already spent a half-million dollars to attack and divide progressives and help a conservative Democrat like Damon Martinez win on Election Day. I respect Damon Martinez’s service, and I’ve known him for years — but his failure to listen to our residents and hold police accountable, and his selective targeting and prosecution of poor, addicted black and brown residents of my own city council district should give us all pause.”

What should give voters pause in his city council district is what a hypocrite Pat Davis is with his words and actions.

No one should respect Pat Davis, especially when he calls Damon Martinez a “conservative Democrat” accusing Martinez of dividing progressives and saying Martinez has failed to listen to “our residents and hold police accountable”.

Pat Davis is an opportunist with his words and his actions.

DAVIS DIVIDED PROGRESSIVES

Lest anyone forget, Pat Davis was the Executive Director of “Progress Now” since its inception before he decided to run for City Council and then Congress.

As Director of Progress Now, Pat Davis was known to support and promote the candidacies of progressive Democrats of his own choosing, at the expense of and to the detriment of other progressive Democrats or Democrats he did not feel were “progressive enough”.

Pat Davis is cut out of the same mold as Bernie Sanders supporters who could not support Hillary Clinton after she won the nomination saying she was not a “progressive” or “progressive enough”.

Pat Davis has always made sure he has done everything he could behind the scenes to help his chosen progressive candidate such as Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez and Mayor Tim Keller when they were running for office.

DAVIS ACTED AND VOTED LIKE A REPUBLICAN

During his tenure on the Albuquerque City Council, Davis has voted, acted and has sounded like a Republican, which makes him a hypocrite.

It is Davis who refused to listen to his own constituents.

Davis voted repeatedly for and supported Republican Mayor Berry’s ART Bus project and funding.

Davis refused to advocate to put ART on the ballot for public approval, telling his constituents at a forum that there was nothing he could do and it was the Mayor’s project.

The ART Bus project has been a total disaster resulting the destruction of the character of Route 66 and having a negative impact and resulting in several businesses going out of business.

A few Nob Hill businesses, including many progressives, at one time advocated a recall of his election because of his support for ART.

DAVIS REFUSED TO HOLD APD ACCOUNTABLE

The biggest hypocrisy Davis committed with his endorsement of Debora Haaland was when he said Martinez failed to hold police accountable.

It was Pat Davis for the past two years that failed to hold APD accountable.

The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget.

Davis did nothing regarding Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms and never challenged the APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms.

Each time the Federal Monitor has presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Davis kept his mouth shut and declined to demand accountability from the Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms.

Davis failed to attend any of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.

It was Damon Martinez who was United State Attorney for New Mexico when the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) was negotiated after a culture of aggression was found within APD.

Damon Martinez was at the forefront in negotiating and changing APD policies on “use of force” and “deadly force” policies of APD.

The accusation that Damon Martinez engaged in “selective targeting and prosecution of poor, addicted black and brown residents of my own city council district” is nothing more than a lie by Pat Davis.

Davis made the accusation of “selective targeting” during a recent congressional debate.

Davis, as a former cop and former spokesman for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, knows full well the power to prosecute the overwhelming number of crimes in the city is the almost exclusive authority of the District Attorney.

Davis use of the words “prosecution of poor, addicted black and brown residents” is nothing more than accusing someone of racism.

CONCLUSION

Pat Davis has now ended his long shot candidacy for Congress.

True to his nature, Pat Davis endorsement of Debra Haaland is opportunistic thinking it will have some effect on voters.

This is one endorsement Debra Haaland would have been better off declining.

Pat Davis is up for re election next year to the Albuquerque City Council and it will be interesting to see if he runs again after this disastrous showing in the Congressional race.

City Council is non partisan, so Pat Davis does not have to say if he is a Democrat or Republican.