“Those Who Cannot Remember The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It”

It is being reported that when two APD officers and two detectives with APD’s Crimes Against Children Unit looked into an allegation that a 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)

The entire Albuquerque Journal report can be read here:


According to the Journal report, last year on May 16, 2017, the then-director of the Real Time Crime Center 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 an APD officer and a CYFD investigator met with the child’s teacher at the girl’s school.


During a three-day detention hearing for the child’s parents being held in custody on charges of sex trafficking, the child’s teacher testified under oath that she told an APD officer and the CYFD Investigator the child went to school unkempt and smelling of urine, evidence of child neglect.

When the teacher testified she helped the child change into clean clothes, the teacher saw the child had blood on the crotch of her underwear.

The teacher removed the underwear from the 7-year-old student and saved it for investigators.

The teacher testified when a police officer went to the school the following day, the APD officer said they could not use the underwear as evidence and threw the clothing in the dumpster.

The teacher testified she was told by the officer that the underwear had not been kept in a secure location and that the police office said “they’re going to have a field day if this ever went to court.”


Mayor Keller and Interim Chief Geier both bent over backwards to repeatedly say to news media outlets that no one with APD violated any policies or procedures investigating the case.

Both Mayor Keller and the Interim Chief Geier also said that no one violated any policies or procedures, including when an APD officer tossed out the blood-stained underwear of an innocent 7-year-old child rather than tagging it into evidence.

Geier repeatedly said that the blood-stained underwear by itself was not a strong enough reason to cause further investigation beyond what the officer did that day.

Mayor Tim Keller said “Based on information they had at the time we have no reason to believe protocol wasn’t followed and procedure wasn’t followed.”



Mayor Keller even went so far as to say that he was not going to discipline someone just because everyone is mad about what happened in the case.

APD Interim Chief Michael Geier has also told media outlets that officers and detectives did everything they could with the information they had at the time and if they knew more, they would have done things differently.

The report APD in fact accessed the states Children Youth and Families law enforcement portal is evidence that APD did not do everything they could have with the information they had at the time.


It was learned that on Friday, May 25, 2018, after continued media coverage and inquiries, APD launched an Internal Affairs investigation to provide a more complete accounting of the department’s interactions related to the November 2017 incident involving the parents of the child.


The Internal Affairs Investigation was not announced until Tuesday, May 25, 2018 with a follow up press conference.

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.

The big question is, why did the Chief nor the Mayor nor order the Internal Affairs Investigation in the first place seeing is that the events occurred last year and before they took office on December 1, 2018?


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” to quote George Santayana.

In response to the controversy, the original response was for Mayor Tim Keller to issue directives to APD to undertake steps to review child abuse cases for patterns that raise red flags, reach out to other law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, the courts, CYFD and child advocates to coordinate crimes against children cases and evaluate policies on evidence collection.

Keller’s defense of APD and Chief Geier is identical to what former Mayor Berry did with former APD Chief Gorden Eden and APD.

Why does Mayor Keller’s directives also sound all too familiar?

The blunt truth is that Mayor Tim Keller took the typical public relations approach by demanding a review of policies and procedures and vowing to hold people accountable for their inaction or incompetence if that is what happened in this case.

All too often after horrific crimes against a child happen, elected officials express outrage and quickly announce proposed changes in the law, increasing penalties, often including reinstating the death penalty for heinous crimes against children, or order review of policies and procedures, which is exactly what happened in the Victoria Martens case and Maree Varela case.

In 2014, 9-year-old Omaree Varela was found beaten to death months after placing a desperate 911 call to APD.

The autopsy report said Omaree had lost about 25 percent of his blood volume through internal bleeding.

On August 24, 2016, in one of the most brutal murders seen in Albuquerque’s history, APD found the dead body of ten-year-old Victoria Martens in an Albuquerque apartment.

Victoria Martens had been beaten, drug, raped, dismembered and then burned.

It was later reported that APD had received prior referrals from CYFD to investigate.

APD spokesperson said that APD had interviewed Victoria Martens and her mother had been conducted which was a lie in that APD never interviewed of the 10 year old nor her mother.


This city has seen and heard all this before from elected officials, mayors included, yet the heinous crimes continue.

All too often people do not hear, or for that matter do not want to hear or even care about the horrific details of crimes against children.

Ultimately, nothing happens and no one is held accountable.

APD, all police officers and the command staff need to fully commit without any reservation whatsoever to fulfill their motto of “to serve and protect”, especially when it comes to our children, otherwise the motto is meaningless.

Every effort must be made by APD to protect our children.

Law enforcement must ensure swift justice is bought upon those who do harm to our innocent children.

There must be severe ramifications and people must be held accountable, including APD personnel and CYFD personnel, for the shoddy investigation such as what happened with a child and the denial by an APD officer to accept evidence and tag it and ask for a forensic evaluation.

Our children’s lives depend upon it.

2018 Memorial Day Dinelli Family Tribute

On this Memorial Day, I am compelled to pay tribute to members of my family who have given so much and sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms and to protect this great country of ours.

All were born and lived in New Mexico, two were born in Chacon, New Mexico and the rest raised and educated in Albuquerque.

One gave the ultimate sacrifice during time of war.

My father Paul Dinelli and my Uncle Pete Dinelli, for whom I was named after, both served in the US Army during World War II when the United States went to war with Italy, Germany and Japan.

I am compelled to point out that the United State was at war with Italy during World War II.

My father and uncle were first generation born Americans and the sons of Italian immigrants who settled in Albuquerque in the year 1900 to live the American dream.

My Uncle Pete Dinelli was killed in action when he stepped on a land mine.

My father Paul Dinelli was a disabled American Veteran when he returned to Albuquerque after World War II.

My uncles Fred Fresques and Alex Fresques, my mother’s two brothers, also saw extensive combat in World War II.

My Uncle Alex Freques served in England and was in the Air Force.

My uncle Fred Freques saw extensive action in the US Army infantry to the point that he refused to talk about what he saw to to anyone. After the war, my Uncle Fred returned to Albuquerque and raised a family in Barelas where over the years he was active in the “Golden Gloves” and the Barelas Community Center.

My father in law, George W. Case, who passed away just 3 years ago at age 93, served in the United States Navy during World War II and saw action while serving on a destroyer.

My father in law George Case was so proud of his service that he wore a World War II Veterans cap every day the last few years of his life.

After the war, my father in law George Case returned to Albuquerque was married to my mother in law for 50 years, raised a family of 4 girls.

George eventually owed a liquor store for a few years and then went on to build, own and operate the Old Town Car wash and was in the car wash industry for a number of years.

My nephew Dante Dinelli, was born and raised in Albuquerque and joined the service a few years after graduating from Cibola High School.

Dante served 20 + years in the US Navy, retired as a Chief Petty Officer and to this day still works in a civilian capacity for the Navy.

My two nephews, Matthew Barnes and Brandon Barnes, the sons of my younger sister, were born and raised in Albuquerque and went to Bosque Prep.

Both Mathew and Brandon are currently Captains in the United States Marine Corps and are climbing the promotion ladder in the Marine Corps.

My nephew Captain Brandon Barnes is a graduate of the US Naval Academy.

My nephew Captain Matthew Barnes graduated from UNM with honors and served a tour in Afghanistan.

To all the wonderful and courageous men and women who have served and continue to serve our country to protect and secure the promise of freedom and the ideals upon which the United States was founded upon, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I thank you for your service to our Country.

Your service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.

God bless you all and God Bless this great country of ours!

A Punch To The Gut Ending Two Candidacies

The Albuquerque Journal has now released its first and long anticipated poll in the Democratic primary for New Mexico Governor.

The Albuquerque Journal poll is only poll taken and published by the newspaper

The biggest reason the Albuquerque Journal poll is so important is that it was released two weeks before the election.

You can read the full Albuquerque Journal article on the poll here:


The results of the poll are as follows
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Gisham: 57%
Las Cruces State Senator Joe Cervantes: 9%
Albuquerque Businessman Jeff Apodaca: 15%


The poll was conducted May 20-24 and was a statewide sample of 444 registered Democratic voters who cast ballots in the 2014 and/or 2016 primary elections.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.


What is very impressive is that Lujan Grisham outpaced both Apodaca and Cervantes in virtually all parts of the state.

Congresswoman Lujan Grisham was especially strong in the Albuquerque area.

Lujan Grisham secured 65% of voters surveyed in Albuquerque compared to 10% for Apodaca and 9% for Cervantes.

Lujan Grisham’s support in Albuquerque is not surprising given that she represents the city in congress and she is a former Bernalillo County Commissioner and is very popular.

Cervantes is a State Senator from Las Cruces while Apodaca is originally from Las Cruces being the son of former Governor Jerry Apodaca who was a State Senator from Las Cruces.

Cervantes was strongest in Las Cruces and southwestern New Mexico where 19 percent of Democratic voters polled said they would support him.

According to the poll, male Democratic voters surveyed said they were twice as likely to vote for Apodaca than female voters.

20% of men survey said they would vote for Apodaca compared with 11 percent of women surveyed.

Not surprising, Apodaca had more support among Hispanic voters than among Anglo voters, but Lujan Grisham still held a sizable edge among both groups.

Both Cervantes and Apodaca have gone negative on Lujan Grisham in both debates and television ads, but it has had no effect on her popularity.


Brian Sanderoff and Research & Polling has an impressive 98% track record of accurately predicting political races in New Mexico for over 40 years.

Research and Polling conducts polls exclusively for the Albuquerque Journal and no longer does polling for political candidates.

Polls tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies and this one is a blowout.

When published two weeks in advance of any election, the polls have an enormous impact on a candidate’s viability and their ability to raise money.

The impact that the Journal poll will have on the governor’s race will be swift and immediate.

This is what you call a “political blowout” brewing in two weeks.

The poll will probably effectively end the candidacies of Joe Cervantes and Jeff Apodaca when it comes to fund raising.

The poll will add to the enormous and commanding lead Michelle Lujan Grisham has against both Apodaca and Cervantes.

The poll will increase her ability to raise and spend more campaign funds to counter punch the negative ads now being employed by her opponents.


After seeing the Albuquerque Journal poll, I have no doubt that both Cervantes and Apodaca had the political equivalent to being punched in the gut that is probably a knockout punch for both.

I have been there and done that four years ago.

When such polls such as this come out, it is more excruciating than anyone cares to admit.

Polls like this tend to be extremely discouraging to candidates and their supporters.

Such polls make it difficult to focus let alone carry on with a smile on your face.

Notwithstanding, Apodaca and Cervantes must and will carry on with their campaigns and need to be respected for their efforts.

I do not envy Republican nominee Steve Pearce, and his loss will probably be even bigger come November.

Loosing in a major landslide is no way to end a political career.

Damon Martinez Leads In Congressional Race; Attack Ads To Commence

The Albuquerque Journal has now released its first and long anticipated poll in the First Congressional District being vacated by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The Journal poll is the fourth known poll taken over the last two months in the First Congressional race to replace Michelle Lujan Grisham who is running for Governor.

The main reason the Albuquerque Journal poll is so important is that it was released two weeks before the election.

You can read the full Albuquerque Journal article on the poll here:


The 6 Democrats running for congress are:

Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis
Former Democratic Party Chair Debra Haaland
Former UNM Law School Associate Dean Antoinette Sedillo Lopez
Immigration and tax attorney Damian Lara
Former United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico Damon Martinez
Albuquerque businessman Paul Moya

The poll was conducted by Brian Sanderoff, President of Research and Polling.

Research and Polling has the most impressive track record of any New Mexico polling company with over 40 years of polling in New Mexico races.

Research and Polling has an impressive 98% track record of accurately predicting political races in New Mexico.

Research and Polling conducts polls exclusively for the Albuquerque Journal and no longer does polling for political candidates.

The Albuquerque Journal Poll conducted by Research and Polling was of 395 registered Democratic voters in the 1st Congressional District who cast ballots in the 2014 and/or 2016 Democratic primary elections and who said they were very likely to vote once again in this year’s June 5 primary election.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points, making the race “too close” to call by pollsters

The Journal poll results are as follows:

Damon Martinez: 22%
Debra Haaland: 19%
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: 17%
Pat Davis : 5%
Damian Lara: 4%
Paul Moya: 3%

What is surprising is that 29% of the voters are still undecided.

According to the Albuquerque Journal poll, with four Hispanics in the race, Damon Martinez is the clear favorite among Democratic Hispanics polling with 25% of those respondents vowing to support him at the ballot box.

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez polled at 19 percent among Hispanic respondents while Debra Haaland had just 9 percent support among Hispanics.

Across the country, more and more woman are running for elective offices and are winning, with New Mexico being no exception.

Both Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra Haaland have emphasized greatly their gender and background in their candidacies, but the Journal Poll suggest they are splitting the female vote and that Damon Martinez also has significant female support and a lead with male voters.

According to the poll, Debra Haaland secured 21% of the females polled, Damon Martinez tied with 21%, and Antonette Sedillo Lopez secured 18% of the females polled.

Damon Martinez, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra Haaland are also splitting the male vote but Martinez has more male support than the two women.

Debra Haaland secured 16% of males polled, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez secured 16% of the males polled and Damon Martinez secured 24% of males polled, 8% above Haaland and Sedillo Lopez.

All three top tier candidates split and received the lions share of likely voters with respect to age groups and education.

The Journal poll when compared to three other polls that have been released clearly show that Damon Martinez has momentum that is going to be difficult to stop.


A poll was conducted the weekend of Friday, April 13, 2018 to Sunday, April 15, 2018 and consisted of contacting 508 registered democrats with the poll having a margin of error of 4.4%.

It was Pat Davis who commissioned the “auto-phone” opinion poll with Public Policy Poll (PPP) with the link to the full poll here:


The PPP poll results were as follows:

Debra Haaland: 15%
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: 15%
Pat Davis : 11%
Damon Martinez: 7
Damian Lara: 4%
Paul Moya: 4%


A poll commissioned by VoteVets was conducted on May 13 and 14 by Lake Research in Washington, DC.

The organization that commissioned the poll is promoting Damon Martinez.

Notwithstanding who paid for the poll, it should be considered highly reliable.

The poll was of 390 “likely” Democratic voters and the poll used professional phone interviews as opposed to the “auto-phone” poll conducted by PPP and commissioned by Pat Davis.

Professional phone interview polls are considered more reliable and far more expensive than “robo-call” polls.

The poll showed an extremely tight race between three candidates with “undecided” voters still winning.

The margin of error for the poll was 5%.

The results of the VOTEVETS poll are as follows:

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: 25%
Damon Martinez: 23%
Debra Haaland: 20%
Pat Davis : 5%
Damian Lara: 5%
Paul Moya: 5%


On Thursday, May 24, New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan released a “robo call” poll showing Damon Martinez winning but calling the race too close to call.

The poll was taken of 305 likely Democratic voters in the 1st Congressional Disitrict.

The margin of error of the Monahan poll is 5.6% which is slightly higher than most polls which usually come in with 4% to 5% margins of error.

The results of Monahan Poll are as follows:

Damon Martinez: 27%
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: 23%
Debra Haaland: 19%
Damian Lara: 5%
Paul Moya: 5%
Pat Davis : 4%

The fact that 19% of the voters were still undecided makes the race to close to call.


On May 22, 2018, the Albuquerque Journal did a solid and positive endorsement of Damon Martinez that could not have been any better, even though it made mention of Paul Moya.

The full Albuquerque Journal editorial can be read here:


Progressives, especially Bernie Sander supporters, would say that the Albuquerque Journal endorsement is a kiss of death to them, but it is not when you have at least 4 progressives in the race with older, more conservative Democrats who still read the Albuquerque Journal and who still vote.

The Journal editorial gave a summary of Damon Martinez’s impressive record of public service, pointing out that he is an Albuquerque native who earned a bachelor’s degree, Master of Business Administration and law degree from the University of New Mexico, and served as New Mexico’s U.S. attorney from 2014 to 2017 until he was fired by Donald Trump and has been an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces for 15 years, enlisting after the September 11 attacks.

The Journal endorsement also said Martinez worked in Congress for former US Senator Jeff Bingaman and then former US Representative and now US Senator Tom Udall, serving as Bingaman’s legislative assistant and later as Udall’s legislative director and “for those reasons knows how the system works and would be able to hit the ground running if elected to Congress.”

Former US Senator Jeff Bingaman has also endorsed Damon Martinez and is helping him raise money and the endorsement should have a major impact on progressive democrats.


There have been no negative attack commercials by the candidates, until now.

It has been reported by Joe Monahan that a $200,000 ad buy from an independent expenditure group affiliated with EMILY’s List has been made to attack Damon Martinez.

(NOTE: The EMILY’ List ad is available on YOUTUBE and can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd_PXguKr74 )

EMILY’s List is a political action committee (PAC) that has the almost exclusive goal to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office.

The sinister sounding ad criticises Damon Martinez for not prosecuting any ALbuquerque Police Officer for 27 fatal police shootings.

The ad is very misleading in that such prosecutions are the job of the Bernalillo County County District Attorney, not the US Attorney, as was the case when the Bernalillo County District Attorney charged and tried two APD police officers for the killing of homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills.

What is misleading is the failure to disclose that Damon Martinez as the United State Attorney for New Mexico was on the forefront and responsible for enforcement of the federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) that mandates extensive reform of APD and changes to APD’s use of force and deadly force policies.

The EMILY’S List attack ads is seen as an effort to stop the momentum of Damon Martinez and increase the chances of Debra Haaland and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

The negative ad is to commence running on television this Tuesday, May 29, 2018.


It is clear comparing the four polls that the media expenditures by the three top candidates have had a major impact on the race.

The most recent Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports show that Debra Haaland led all six Democratic candidates with $836,709 in donations, Sedillo Lopez ranked second in the race for total contributions with $706,954 received and Damon Martinez was the third-highest money recipient, with $699,263.

Damon Martinez is one that has had the best return on his investment coming in from a distant 5th at first to now leading in the race with significant momentum that will no doubt continue unless he has a misstep.

Immigration and tax attorney Damian Lara reported raising $324,068 and is running TV ads that are impressive, but his candidacy has not caught on and the amount he has raised and spent has not made him competitive in the race.


Albuquerque Businessman Paul Moya reported raising $191,539, he is running TV ads but his primary emphasis has been running a social media campaign running commercials on FACEBOOK to get his message out.


Mr. Moya has been very impressive at forums and debates, but the impact of his social media campaign is unknown, does not show up in the polls, despite the considerable number of “views” on his FACEBOOK page which consistently run in the thousands.

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez had a minor setback to her campaign when it was reported out of the Journal Washington Bureau that she returned $2,750 in campaign donations given to her by seven attorneys who had cases pending in the Court of her husband, State District Judge Victor Lopez.


The Albuquerque Journal reported that Sedillo-Lopez has solicited donations from licensed attorneys and former students of hers at the UNM School of Law where she was a professor.

This should be considered a minor setback for Antoinette Sedillo Lopez for now but it has the potential of becoming a major setback and a black eye to her campaign if other such donations and solicitations are found and reported upon by the news media or any one of her opponents.

The one candidate that has had the biggest setback is Pat Davis.

Davis considered by many as the most progressive candidate in the race, he has high name recognition as a city councilor, but Davis has dropped in the polls, despite his use of vulgar language in a TV commercial to attack the National Rifle Association.

Davis’s embarrassing interview with conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson on FOX News about his use of vulgar language against the NRA and his understanding of automatic and semi automatic weapons did not help Pat Davis much.

The Carlson-Davis interview showed Davis is not at all ready for prime time in the United States Congress and calls into question his judgment for even appearing on FOX News.

The full Carlson-Davis interview, along with the Davis ad, can be seen at this YOUTUBE link:


All 4 polls seem to reflect that Debra Halaand and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez are splitting the more progressive and women’s vote and Damon Martinez is benefitting from that split.

Damon Martinez is considered a more traditional democrat, many progressives would say more conservative, than Debra Haaland and Antonette Sedillo Lopez despite the fact Damon Martinez has come out in favor of Medicare for all and banning of the manufacture of assault rifles.


Polls such as conducted by Research and Polling tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Polls taken and published two weeks in advance of any election have an enormous impact on a candidate’s viability and their ability to raise money.

The impact that the Journal poll will have on the congressional race is to add to the momentum Damon Martinez has as well as increasing his ability to raise and spend more campaign funds.

There are still two weeks left before the primary, and with 29% still undecided, many are saying the race is too close to call.

However, in the world of politics, momentum is the single most important factor, especially two weeks before an election.

Two major questions that will need to be answered is if Damon Martinez will be able to raise enough money to offset or respond to the EMILY’S list attack ad and if the attack ads will benefit the two women in the race.

At this point in time, it is more likely than not that Damon Martinez will continue with his momentum and will be the Democratic nominee presuming he continues with his fundraising and spending and there are no missteps on his part.

However, two weeks in a congressional campaign is an eternity.

To Reach For The Unreachable Star

On May 24, 2018, just 18 police officer cadets graduated from the APD Police Academy that will actually go to work for APD.

These newly sworn officers will now be given on the job training with a supervisor for six months to complete their training.

Beginning January 1, 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers and these graduates will bring APD up to the 898 level.

APD retirements are expected to be announced on July 1, 2018.

Recently, the City Council past the 2018-2019 budget that allocates funding for 1,040 full time positions.

In order to increase APD from the current 898 sworn police with the new cadets counted to 1,040 sworn by this time next year, the APD Police Academy will need to keep up with expected retirements and will have to hire at least 144 new officers either as new recruits or as lateral hires.

Based on APD Academy past performance over the past 8 years, the Police Academy will not meet the goal of recruiting and hiring 140 police officers by the end of this year, let alone to 1,200 by the end of Keller’s four year term.

The 2018-2019 fiscal year budget reports the following number of cadet graduates over the last few years as follows:

Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2016-2017: 52

In 2016, APD had 90 retirements

Actual number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2017-2018: 43

The net gain in 2017 was 2.

Approved number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 80

Mid-Year number of cadet graduates for fiscal year 2018-2019: 24

Proposed number of approved cadet graduates for fiscal year 2019-2020: 100

At the beginning of 2018, APD had 878 sworn police officers.

Mayor Keller is proposing to spend $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and expand APD from 878 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers by implementing a hiring and recruitment program to offer incentives, pay raises and bonuses to join or return to APD in order to return to community-based policing.

The Keller Administration successfully negotiated a two-year contract with the police union providing $12.2 million dollars in hourly wage increases and longevity pay increases to new and experienced police officers which should make APD more competitive with other cities and help recruitment efforts.

A “Status Quo Projection” for Number of APD Officers was included in the APD expansion plan if the plan was not implemented

Starting Officer Count each year for the next four years without the expansion plan:

2018: 880
2019: 872
2020: 864
2021: 857

Starting Officer recruitment and lateral hires and retirements without the expansion plan:

Annual New Recruits each year for the next four years: 56 per year for a total of 224

Annual Lateral Recruits each year for the next four years: 2 per year for a total of 8

Total Annual Recruits each year for the next four years: 58 per year for a total of 232

Annual Retirements each year for the next four years: 41 per year for a total of 164

Annual Resignations each year for the next four years: 24 per year for a total of 96

Total Annual Attrition each year for the next four years: 65 per year for a total of 260

Net Loss each year for the next four years: 8 per year for a total of 32

Projected remaining Officers each year for the next 4 years without the expansion plan:

2018: 872
2019: 864
2019: 857
2020: 849


The major obstacle the Keller Administration is confronted with is the APD Academy not being able to recruit and keep up with retirements and add to grow the department.

The average number of academy graduates is usually between 35 to 40 graduates and the academy normally has only two academy classes per year for new police officers.

If APD has the same number of retirements and other departures that it had last year, the likelihood the department’s sworn officer count will actually shrink.

Retirement paperwork for police retirements need to be submitted before July 1, 2018 to allow a retiree to be eligible for cost of living adjustments (COLA) within two years and to cash out or be paid unused accumulated annual and sick leave.

APD insiders are saying moral within the Department has improved somewhat, but not enough to keep another large wave of retirements come July 1, 2018 when the new fiscal year begins.

City residents need to hope that Keller’s aggressive recruitment and expansion plan woks, but it just may be reaching for an unreachable star.

Police Union Back Handed Swipes At Keller; Wage Increase Will Not Solve Officer Shortage

The Democratic Keller Administration and the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) police union have successfully negotiated a two-year contract that includes an hourly pay increase and increase longevity pay benefits.


On May 21, 2018 rank-and-file Albuquerque police officers overwhelmingly approved by a 501 to 40 vote a new two-year contract that will give police officers $12.1 million more in pay.


In announcing the new 2-year contract with the police union, Mayor Tim Keller said:

“This agreement gets us one step closer to addressing the public safety challenges our city is facing head on. … We were at a competitive disadvantage with our neighboring cities for recruitment efforts. These compensation adjustments will level the playing field so we can attract and retain qualified officers.”

In characteristic style, the police union when announcing approval of the contract by rank and file took a back handed swipe at the city administration.

The police union said the downside to the contract is that it is a two-year deal.

The police union claimed it wanted a one-year contract because many officers “don’t trust the city to keep its word on a multi-year deal.”


Why should the city trust the police union when it consistently criticizes any administration in office and has opposed many policy changes mandated by the Department of Justice consent decree?

It should not be forgotten that six days after Mayor Keller was sworn into office, it was the police union president that claimed the Mayor was “dishonorable” when the Mayor “apologized for a group of police officers”.

The union president claimed that the rank and file felt “discredited” by the Mayor when he gave an apology to the citizens of Albuquerque for APD’s history of excessive use of force and deadly force that bought the Department of Justice to find a “culture of aggression”.

The police union gave no credit to the six-month-old Keller Administration for the negotiated pay increases and a major change in attitude towards all the city unions.

The previous Republican administration for the past eight years had been at repeated impasse and unable to negotiate contracts with virtually all city unions, especially the fire and police unions and those impasses resulted in litigation.

Within weeks after taking office, the Keller Administration negotiated and approved an $8 million settlement with the Albuquerque Firefighter’s Union, ending a pay raise dispute that dated backs to 2011 with the previous Republican Administration.


The approved contract provides that the pay rate for officers with zero to four years of experience will go from $28 to $29 an hour.

Under the contract, officers with 4 to 14 years of experience will be paid $30 an hour.

The new contract will also raise the pay of more senior officers to between $30 to $31.50 an hour.

Officers with 15 years of more will be paid $31.50 an hour.

The rate for sergeants will go from $32 to $35 an hour, and lieutenants pay will go up from $36.70 to $40.00 an hour.


Longevity pay increases of between $2,600 to $13,000 a year will take effect August 1, 2018 and longevity pay will also increase in the contract’s second year.

The new contract calls for officers next year to start collecting longevity pay bonuses based on their years of experience.

Starting when an officer has five years of experience, the longevity bonuses will range from $100 to $600 every pay period.

The approved longevity pay scale effective August 1, 2018 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year is as follows:

For 5 to 9 years of experience: $100 will be paid bi-weekly, or $2,600 yearly
For 10 to 14 years of experience: $150 will be paid bi-weekly, or $3,900 yearly
For 15 to 17 years of experience: $200 will be paid bi-weekly, or $5,200 yearly
For 1 to 19 years of experience: $300 will be paid bi-weekly, or $7,800 yearly
For 10 to 20 years or more: $500 will be paid bi-weekly, or $13,000 yearly

The approved longevity pay scale effective the first full pay period following July 1, 2019, and that will replace the 2018-2019 is as follows:

For 5 years of experience: $100 will be paid bi-weekly, or $2,600 yearly
For 6 years of experience: $125 will be paid bi-weekly, or $3,250 yearly
For 7 to 9 years of experience: $225 will be paid bi-weekly, or $5,800 yearly
For 10 to 12 years of experience: $300 will be paid bi-weekly, or $7,800 yearly
For 13 to 15 years o experience: $350 will be paid bi-weekly, or $9,100 yearly
For 16 to 17 years or more: $450 will be paid bi-weekly, or $11,700 yearly
For 18 or more years of experience: $600 will be paid bi-weekly, 15,600 yearly


The police union got into the act and parroted Mayor Keller when it said the pay increases and longevity pay will go a long way to help recruit experienced officers from around the country and make the city more competitive.

The increases in hourly wages and longevity pay are in no way a panacea for APD recruiting a new generation of police officers fully trained in constitutional policing practices.

The Keller Administration is proposing to spend $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and expand APD from 878 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers.

For the first fiscal year of the four-year plan, the 2018-2019 approved budget provides for increasing funding from 1,000 sworn police to 1,040, which is not much of an increase.

Notwithstanding the existing funding for 1,000 sworn police, APD at the beginning of 2018 had only 878 sworn police.

If the past 8-year history with the APD Academy is any reflection of what will happen, the APD Academy will be lucky to hire and train enough cadets just to keep up with retirements.

In order to increase APD from the current 878 sworn police to 1,040 sworn by this time next year, the APD Police Academy will need to keep up with expected retirements and will have to hire at least 162 new officers either as new recruits or as lateral hires.

Based on APD Academy past performance over the 8 few years, the Police Academy will not meet the goal of recruiting and hiring 162 police officers.

APD is having significant problems filling unfilled positions and difficulty in growing the department even with APD offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for new hires.


The APD Police Academy is unable to keep up with retirement losses.

For a number of years, graduating classes have averaged 35 to 40 a class, well below the number to keep up with yearly retirements.

Recruiting a younger, new generation of sworn police officers and growing the size of the police department has become very difficult and unachievable.

The number of APD sworn officers has fallen from 1,100 officers to 878 over the past eight years for any number of reasons including:

1. Extreme low morale resulting in experienced officers deciding to retire sooner than later or going to other law enforcement agencies.
2. Changes in the Public Employee Retirement Association benefits
3. Failed APD management by the previous administration
4. Poor Working conditions as a result of heavy workloads and caseloads
5. Intense scrutiny by the Department of Justice resulting in the DOJ consent decree.
6. Terminations and disciplinary actions
7. Inability to attract “lateral” transfers from other departments

APD’s poor and negative national reputation and Albuquerque’s high violent crime rates are also not conducive to attracting people who want to begin a long-term career in law enforcement in Albuquerque.

The DOJ oversight requirements and the increased dangers in being a police officer in a violent city such as Albuquerque has also had an impact on recruitment.

The overwhelming number of police academy applicants fail to get into the academy for any number of reasons including:

1. Failing to meet minimum education and entry qualifications
2. Unable to pass criminal background checks
3. Unable to make it through psychological background analysis
4. Failing the polygraph tests
5. Lying on the on the applications or failing a credit check.

Once in the police academy, many cadets are unable to meet minimum physical requirements or unable to handle the training and academic requirements to graduate from the academy.


There is no doubt that it will take years to grow the department to the 1,200-level desired to return to community-based policing.

Growing the department will take more than increasing hourly pay and longevity pay to make APD more attractive to come and join to begin a 25-year career.

Growing the department will take time, major changes in management a major financial investment for recruitment and compliance with the DOJ consent decree reforms.

Until then, the Police Union’s motto will always be “What’s in your wallet?”