10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report: “Counter Casa Effect” Alive and Well Within APD; Move To Dismiss Union From Case; Remove Sergeants and Lieutenants From Police Union

On November 1, 2019, Federal Court Appointed Monitor James Ginger filed with the Federal Court his 10th compliance audit report of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms mandated under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). The audit report covers February 2019 through July 2019. The report is 287 pages long and follows the same format as all the previous 9 reports. It is a detailed audit of every paragraph of the consent decree.

The entire 10th Federal Monitors report can be found filed with United Sates Federal Court for the District of New Mexico in Case 1:14-cv-01025-JB-SMV, Document 493 Filed 11/01/19 Page 1 of 287.

OPERATIONAL COMPLIANCE LEVELS

The CASA was negotiated to be fully implemented over a four-year period. It has now been a full five years. Under the terms and conditions of the CASA, once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in all 3 compliance areas, and maintains compliance for 2 years, the case can be dismissed.
For the purposes of the APD monitoring process, “compliance” consists of three parts: primary, secondary, and operational compliance levels.

The 3 compliance levels are as follows:

1. PRIMARY COMPLIANCE: Primary compliance is the “policy” part of compliance. To attain primary compliance, APD must have in place operational policies and procedures designed to guide officers, supervisors and managers in the performance of the tasks outlined in the CASA. As a matter of course, the policies must be reflective of the requirements of the CASA; must comply with national standards for effective policing policy; and must demonstrate trainable and evaluable policy components.

2. SECONDARY COMPLIANCE: Secondary compliance is attained by implementing supervisory, managerial and executive practices designed to (and effective in) implementing the policy as written, e.g., sergeants routinely enforce the policies among field personnel and are held accountable by managerial and executive levels of the department for doing so. By definition, there should be operational artifacts (reports, disciplinary records, remands to retraining, follow-up, and even revisions to policies if necessary, indicating that the policies developed in the first stage of compliance are known to, followed by, and important to supervisory and managerial levels of the department.

3. OPERATIONAL COMPLIANCE: Operational compliance is attained at the point that the adherence to policies is apparent in the day-to-day operation of the agency e.g., line personnel are routinely held accountable for compliance, not by the monitoring staff, but by their sergeants, and sergeants are routinely held accountable for compliance by their lieutenants and command staff. In other words, the APD “owns” and enforces its policies.

(See pages 5 and 6 of 10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report.)

COMPLIANCE STATUS ASSESSMENT

In the 9th audit report that covered the time period of August 1, 2018 to January 14, 2019 the federal monitor found APD was 99.6% in primary compliance, 79% in secondary compliance and 63% in operational compliance. This was up slightly from the 8th audit report when the department was in 75.4% secondary compliance and 59.2% in operational compliance. Primary compliance remained the same between the two periods at 99.6% compliance.

In the 10th Federal Monitor’s Audit report, the monitor reported APD met 100% of CASA-established primary compliance requirements during the reporting period. According to the audit “This means, in effect, that policy requiring compliance actions and processes are complete, and are reasonably designed to achieve the articulated goals of the CASA.” Secondary compliance rates (training) were reported at 81%, up from 79% and overall compliance rates are at 63%, the same as the 9th audit report.

Following is the “Overall Status Assessment” contained in the 10th Federal Audit report:

“As of the end of the tenth reporting period, APD continues to make progress overall, having achieved primary compliance in 100% of the applicable paragraphs of the CASA. Primary Compliance relates mostly to development and implementation of acceptable policies (conforming to national practices).”

“APD is in 81% percent Secondary Compliance as of this reporting period, which means that effective follow-up mechanisms have been taken to ensure that APD personnel understand the requirements of promulgated policies, e.g., training, supervising, coaching, and disciplinary processes to ensure APD personnel understand the policies as promulgated and are capable of implementing them in the field.”

“APD is in 64% Operational Compliance with the requirements of the CASA, which means that 64% of the time, field personnel either perform tasks as required by the CASA, or that, when they fail, supervisory personnel note and correct in-field behavior that is not compliant with the requirements of the CASA.”

USE OF FORCE ASSESSMENT CONTINUES TO BE PROBLEMATIC

It was a Department of Justice (DOJ) 18-month investigation that resulted in the DOJ finding a “culture of aggression” and civil rights violations within APD and the use of “deadly force” or “excessive use of force.” The Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandated the establishment of an Internal Affairs Force Division (IAFD).

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report identified continuing problems with “use of force” investigations as follows:

“We have seen significant progress in areas of force investigations through APD’s Internal Affairs Force Division (IAFD), and we believe if that unit is properly staffed and given the resources it needs, APD will be better positioned in the future when Operational Compliance determinations are more prevalent. The current Commander of IAFD, in our opinion, is highly committed to the task of providing the agency with honest and thorough use of force investigations that include legitimate assessments of whether force was justified and objectively reasonable. … As the new use of force “suite of policies” become operationalized, … IAFD is expected to make a shift from its current role, principally focused on uses of force already investigated, to taking on initial investigatory responsibilities in the field.

Based on our meetings with APD, we are uncertain if APD is prepared to make a sustained commitment of staffing to IAFD for them to maintain their high quality of work. While reviewing backlogged uses of force, IAFD uncovered hundreds policy violations by officers or supervisors that were either missed, improperly handled or both in the field. We can reasonably predict that once IAFD begins to conduct initial use of force investigations, they will continue to uncover policy violations at a higher rate than field supervisors, APD must prepare itself for the work that will be necessary to address those contemporary policy violations through its internal affairs processes and in a meaningful way.

We have commented in the past on APD’s lack of appetite for disciplining its officers, so if a stream of new misconduct cases is encountered, APD’s interest and resiliency for discipline will be tested. … our review of APD’s internal affairs function continues to reveal serious defects that hinders the proper remediation of performance deficiencies and the application of discipline.”

While [there have been] … positive strides by APD with respect to handling uses of force, including instances where the chain of command reviewing use of force incidents has documented performance issues, policy violations and miscategorized uses of force, there still exists cultural, procedural, and systemic issues that could impact Operational Compliance with respect to holding officers accountable when misconduct occurs.

Timeliness of use of force investigations are of particular concern, and proper staffing of units responsible for CASA related paragraphs needs to be monitored closely. Since APD intends to pivot its use of force investigation responsibilities after it implements its new use of force suite of policies, to be effective, the organization will need appropriate allocation of resources to these tasks.”

(See 10th Federal Monitors Audit Report Pages 9 and 10).

MONITOR IDENTIFIES MILESTONES REACHED

According to the 10th audit report, APD has reached three major milestones during the reporting period:

“First, [APD] has produced a valid set of policies guiding field performance in all critical aspects of CASA-compliance.

Second, … [APD] has implemented training development and documentation practices that appear to meet CASA requirements and address national “best practices” in training of law enforcement officers.

Third, [APD] has organized and fielded an internal data management, analysis, and reporting process that has begun to perform the internal audit processes necessary for long-term maintenance of the objectives attained to date. These are major milestones, and reflect a commitment, focus, and operational intent to become fully CASA-compliant.”

(See 10th Federal Monitors Audit Report, Page 4)

MONITOR IDENTIFIES MAJOR PROGRESS

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report noted progress in other areas as follows:

1.“APD’s policy development process has improved markedly in the last two years. … APD [is] now reasonably capable of identifying issues with current policy and developing clear and sufficient guidance for field officers, supervisors, command personnel, support personnel, and administrative oversight. The agency has taken the first steps toward becoming a data-based “learning organization.”

APD’s internal systems are beginning to note the same operational issues noted by the monitoring team. Unlike the first few years of CASA implementation, APD’s internal audit and review functions are CASA-focused and data-based.

[The monitoring team has] … long noted … that building APD-wide CASA-compliant systems depends on good policy; good training; good systems monitoring and assessment capacities; and good supervisory, management and leadership processes. The Chief and the leadership cadre have hit the mark solidly on the policy front. Training processes have been basically rebuilt, and APD is currently in the “growth phase” of building internalized planning, development, organization, documentation, delivery, evaluation and supervisory mechanisms to ensure effective and constitutional operations.”

2. APD met 100% of CASA-established primary compliance requirements during this reporting period, a major accomplishment. This means, in effect, that policy requiring compliance actions and processes are complete, and are reasonably designed to achieve the articulated goals of the CASA. Secondary compliance rates (training) currently stand at 81%, and overall compliance rates stand at 63%.

3. APD has selected, trained and fielded a data analysis group that is, in the judgment of the monitor, a remarkably talented and focused group of individuals who are capable of producing “actionable intelligence” on compliance efforts’ outcome results.

4. APD’s Compliance Bureau continues its strong process- and outcome-related oversight of APD operations. It is a process that APD should consider replicating (on a smaller scale) and building into each Area Command’s compliance efforts.”

(See pages 284 and 285 of 10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report.)

MONITOR REPORTS SERIOUS LAPSES IN LAPEL CAMERA USAGE

The Federal Monitor reported 2 major serious lapses by APD during the reporting period that are potentially fatal shortcoming in the compliance process. According to the federal monitor, the shortcomings need to be addressed immediately and clearly by APD.

The two major shortcomings reported are:

“[There are] … serious lapses in internal reporting, supervision, and command oversight that are in need of continued attention and improvement. Put simply, at this point, supervisory processes and command oversight remain basically unchanged, or actually moving backwards, by failing frequently to either note policy (and CASA) violations and failing frequently to take clear and unequivocal steps to inform officers that they have violated policy or procedures. [The] “corrective actions” that do occur are often executed at the lowest levels of the disciplinary process, e.g., verbal or written reprimands, regardless of the seriousness of the violation.

The most frequent CASA violations are also in the most crucial aspects of CASA compliance, e.g., the widespread and unnoticed practice of many APD patrol officers failing to activate their OBRDs [lapel cameras] when required, or even turning off their OBRDs in the middle of a given contact. This point of failure often tends to interdict the systems improvement process, as APD is effectively blind to in-field violations—and for that matter, best practices—by its field personnel. These failures are seldom noted by supervisors, and even less likely to be noted by lieutenants and commanders.”

MONITOR FINDS WEAKNESSES WITHIN CHAIN OF COMMAND FAILING TO ACT

The Federal Monitor reported serious and significant delays in reporting impacting discipline:

“A serious and significant tendency exists among a large percentage of field supervisors—and some in the mid-management and command ranks—to continue to routinely supersede or discount executive authority by delaying reports of officer behavior requiring action until discipline can no longer be applied due to union contract restrictions.

Key elements of supervision and command are either not cognizant of the need for focused, detailed, and careful review of field practices, or they are deliberately noncompliant regarding these issues. This is particularly true of the requirement that APD officers activate their OBRDs, as required by policy and training.

We have noted a significant number of supervisors who ignore failures to activate OBRDs as required by policy, or if they do happen to note these failures, they tend to rationalize the causes of those failures. Few if any such failures result in meaningful interventions. In one case in which multiple officers failed to activate their OBRDs when required by policy, the monitoring team was the only oversight element that noticed this obviously “knowable” deviation.

Sergeants and lieutenants, at times, go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice.

Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case ‘complete’. “

(See pages 284 and 285 of 10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report.)

STRENGTHS IDENTIFIED BY MONITOR

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report identified 6 major organizational strengths related to the CASA mandated reforms. The report listed those strengths as follows:

“ 1. Internal Affairs Force Division (IAFD) has created a new APD standard of professional review, classification, investigation and findings development for APD’s more serious use of force investigations. The lessons learned from developing these processes are being applied to critical IA review functions moving forward.

2. IAFD has completed its review of backlogged use of force cases, cases improperly delayed or processed by the previous administration.

3. Force Review Board (FRB) reconstitution has been assigned to a newly formed team. The team’s members are receptive to monitor guidance, enthusiastic about their responsibilities, and have begun leveraging their understanding of issues confronting APD into meaningful proposals for moving forward with FRB processes. The process underway includes convening focus groups regarding past FRB issues and concerns and developing learning tools to gain insight and understanding concerning FRB processes from other similarly situated policy departments. The FRB team is also leveraging other APD teams who have proven successful in meeting their mandate, e.g., IAFD and SOD.

4. APD met 100% of CASA-established primary compliance requirements during this reporting period, a major accomplishment. This means, in effect, that policy requiring compliance actions and processes are complete, and are reasonably designed to achieve the articulated goals of the CASA. Secondary compliance rates (training) currently stand at 81 percent, and overall compliance rates stand at 63 percent.

5. APD has selected, trained and fielded a data analysis group that is, in the judgment of the monitor, a remarkably talented and focused group of individuals who are capable of producing “actionable intelligence” on compliance efforts’ outcome results.

6. APD’s Compliance Bureau continues its strong process- and outcome-related oversight of APD operations. It is a process that APD should consider replicating (on a smaller scale) and building into each Area Command’s compliance efforts.”

(See pages 283 and 284 of 10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report.)

WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED BY MONITOR

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report provided a summary of “weaknesses” identified during the reporting period that are alarming when it comes to mid management. Those weaknesses are:

“A serious and significant tendency exists among a large percentage of field supervisors—and some in the mid-management and command ranks—to continue to routinely supersede or discount executive authority by delaying reports of officer behavior requiring action until discipline can no longer be applied due to union contract restrictions.

Key elements of supervision and command are either not cognizant of the need for focused, detailed, and careful review of field practices, or they are deliberately noncompliant regarding these issues. This is particularly true of the requirement that APD officers activate their OBRDs, as required by policy and training.

We have noted a significant number of supervisors who ignore failures to activate OBRDs as required by policy, or if they do happen to note these failures, they tend to rationalize the causes of those failures. Few if any such failures result in meaningful interventions. In one case in which multiple officers failed to activate their OBRDs when required by policy, the monitoring team was the only oversight element that noticed this obviously “knowable” deviation.

Sergeants and lieutenants, at times, go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice.

Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case “complete,” without taking remedial action, or take remedial action on only the most minor of the noted violations. Few command personnel take note of these failures by supervisory and mid-management personnel.

Command-level personnel have also been observed to participate in this inappropriate winnowing process by extending timelines beyond the length of time requested by supervisors, thus ensuring that any negative consequences of a review are neutralized, and the errant behavior is no longer addressable due to conflicts with the union contract.

Some command personnel are often equally involved in direct and willful actions or inactions that contravene the CASA, and protect officers who have, in some cases, willfully committed actions in violation of, or failures to act in accordance with, the CASA. “

SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITIES

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report provided a summary of “opportunities” identified during the reporting period. Those opportunities are as follows:

“APD has begun an infusion of new command-level personnel committed to CASA compliance, and there is evidence of a maturing of in-house process documentation, data collection and data analysis that is an essential element of successful compliance efforts. APD has, for the most part, a focused executive-level leadership supporting CASA-congruent processes and has created an environment of CASA-supportive oversight among most executive-level APD personnel. Further, there are supportive funding levels from the City of ABQ related to CASA compliance efforts.”

COUNTER CASA THREATS

The 10th Federal Monitor’s report provided specific examples where APD, after 4 years of implementing the reforms, are still resisting the reform effort.

“Some members of APD continue to resist actively APD’s reform efforts, including using deliberate counter-CASA processes. For example:
• Sergeants assessed during this reporting period were “0 for 5” in some routine aspects of CASA-required field inspections;
• Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) disciplinary timelines, appear at times to be manipulated by supervisory, management and command levels at the area commands, letting known violations lie dormant until timelines for discipline cannot be met; and
• Spin up of “new” FRB processes will require persistent and candid review, assessment, oversight and support at the field level. “

The entire 10th Federal Monitors report can be found filed with United Sates Federal Court for the District of New Mexico in Case 1:14-cv-01025-JB-SMV, Document 493 Filed 11/01/19 Page 1 of 287.

COUNTER CASA EFFECT

It was on September 10, 2018, at a status telephone conference call held with US District Court Judge Robert Brack who at the time was presiding over the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) reforms that Federal Monitor Dr. James Ginger first told the federal judge that a group of “high-ranking APD officers” within the department were trying to thwart reform efforts.

The Federal Monitor revealed that the group of “high-ranking APD officers” were APD sergeants and lieutenants. Because sergeants and lieutenants are part of the police bargaining unit they remained in their positions and could not be removed by the Chief. APD Chief Michael Geier also reported last year to Judge Brack that he had noticed some “old-school resistance” to reforms mandated by the CASA. At the time, Chief Geier reported he replaced a number of commanders with others who agree with police reforms. However, Chief Geier reported he could not replace the sergeants nor lieutenants who were resisting the reforms because of the union contract.

Federal Monitor Ginger referred to the group as the “counter-CASA effect.” Ginger described the group’s attitude as “certainly ambivalent” to the reform effort and the CASA. According to the transcript of the proceeding, Dr. Ginger told Judge Brack:

“The ones I’m speaking of are in critical areas and that ambivalence, alone, will give rise to exactly the sort of issues that we’ve seen in the past at the training academy. … So while it’s not overt, you know, there’s nobody sabotaging computer files or that sort of thing, it’s a sort of a low-level processing, but nonetheless, it has an effect. … It’s a small group, but it’s a widespread collection of sworn personnel at sergeant’s and lieutenant’s levels with civil service protection that appear to be, based on my knowledge and experience, not completely committed to this process … It is something that is deep-seated and it’s a little harder to find a quick fix or solution to it, but I think, in the long term, by having this foundation with new leadership and a new direction from the top down, we should be able to get through this and survive it.”

The entire 53-page transcript of the conference call can be read here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GzUumHhiD3Mw2_dLg_czXml_T6-3QI2w/view

NEW FEDERAL JUDGE, OLD UNION RESISTANCE TO REFORMS

On Tuesday, August 20, 2019, a day long status conference was convened by Federal Judge James Browning to listen to Federal Court Appointed Monitor James Ginger’s third “Outcome and Measures And Analysis Report” on the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). Judge James Browning took over the case from Judge Robert Brack who retired and went on Senior Status. It had been more than a year since the last public status conference was held.

At the August 20, 2019 hearing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the city of Albuquerque, APD , the police union and the many stakeholders in the effort testified. Overall, the consensus throughout the all-day hearing was that APD has improved dramatically. All seem to agree that there is a lot more left to be done with the police reforms. All of the participants said they are committed to seeing the reform through.

During the August 20, 2019 hearing, District Court Judge Browning asked APOA Union President Shawn Willoughby what he and the union rank and file felt about the CASA. Willoughby’s responses were a quick condemnation of the CASA when he said “we hate it”, “we’re frustrated”, the reforms and mandates are “a hard pill to swallow”, that “all change is hard”.

According to Willoughby, police officers are afraid to do their jobs for fear of being investigated, fired or disciplined. In the same breath, Willoughby went on to brag about how his union, unlike other police unions in city’s with consent decrees, actually worked and cooperated with the city and the DOJ.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

After well over a year since the “Counter Casa” effect was first reported on September 10, 2018 to the federal court, the November 1, 2019 10th Federal Monitors report confirms once again that police union membership continues to undermine the reform process. The police union and its leadership have said in open court that the mandated reforms under the consent decree are interfering with rank and file officer’s ability to perform their job duties.

According to the Federal Monitors 10th report:

“Sergeants and lieutenants, at times, go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice. Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case “complete”.

Under “Counter CASA Effects” in his 10th report the Federal Monitor reports:

“Some members of APD continue to resist actively APD’s reform efforts, including using deliberate counter-CASA processes. For example:
• Sergeants assessed during this reporting period were “0 for 5” in some routine aspects of CASA-required field inspections;
• Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) disciplinary timelines, appear at times to be manipulated by supervisory, management and command levels at the area commands, letting known violations lie dormant until timelines for discipline cannot be met;”

MOVE TO DISMISS POLICE UNION AS PARTY TO FEDERAL LAWSUIT

The APD Union was not a named party to the original civil rights complaint for excessive use of force and deadly force filed against the city by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Soon after the DOJ initiated the federal lawsuit against APD and the City, the APOA police union intervened to become a party to the federal lawsuit in order to advocate for union interests in city policy and changes to the “use of force” and “deadly force policies.”

The Police Union, despite public comments of cooperation and comments made to the court, have never fully supported the agreed to reforms. The Police Union contributed significantly to the delay in writing the new use of force and deadly force policies.

The union leadership has always been at the negotiating table. For a full year, the police union was involved with the drafting of the “use of force” and “deadly use of force” policy. The union contributed to the one-year delay in writing the policies objecting to many provisions of the policies. The police union repeatedly objected to the language of the use of force policy asserting the policy was unreasonable. This was evidenced by the monitors claim that submitted use of force policies were missing key components and the monitor saw 50-plus changes needing to be made to satisfy union objections.

The union leadership has attended and has sat at counsel table during all court hearings and the Federal Monitor presentations on his reports. During all the Court proceeding where the federal monitor has made his presentation to the federal court, the APOA union has made its opposition and objections known to the federal court regarding the “use of force” and “deadly force” policies as being too restrictive with rank and file. The union has repeatedly claimed rank and file cannot do their jobs even with training on the policies. The major contribution the police union has provided to the reform process is interference, obstruction and delay of the reforms.

The City Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice need to file a “Motion For Removal” of the police union as a party to the lawsuit. This would allow an evidentiary hearing where the Federal Monitor could testify as to his findings and identify the management, sergeants and lieutenants who go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice. Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case “complete”.” Testimony could then taken from APD Sergeants and Lieutenants to determine to what extent there has been interference with implementation of the reforms.

What is very problematic is that no one knows for certain to what extent the union is influencing the actions of the sergeants and lieutenants to resist the implementation of the CASA reforms that the union opposes. During the August 20, 2019 hearing Union President Willoughby made it clear the union membership “hates” the CASA, feels the reforms are “a hard pill to swallow” and that they believe “all change is hard”. Willoughby went so far as to say the rank and file are afraid to do their jobs for fear of being fired when he knows they can only be fired for cause and guaranteed personnel rights and procedures.

The very last thing APD management needs is for sergeants and lieutenants to passively but deliberately oppose the reforms by acting as union operatives as opposed to management, which ostensibly is still happening based on the 10th Federal Monitors Report filed on November 1, 2019.

CITY SHOULD REMOVE SERGEANTS AND LIEUTENANTS FROM UNION

There is a definite “chain of command” when it comes to APD. All Commanders, Deputy Chiefs and the Chief are “at will” positions that serve at the pleasure of the Administration, either the Mayor or Chief. APD has a clear line of authority that separates management from rank and file sworn police officers that must be preserved and honored.

Police sergeants and lieutenants by virtue of their titles, responsibilities, management and supervisory authority over sworn police officers are part of the “chain of command” management team of the police department. Including APD police sergeants and lieutenants who are part of management in the union bargaining unit creates a clear conflict within management and sends mixed messages to rank and file sworn police officers.

APD police sergeants and lieutenants are on the front line to enforce personnel rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, approve and review work performed and assist in implementing DOJ reforms and standard operating procedures policies. This point was repeatedly made by the Federal Monitor when he said “until the sergeants are in harness and pulling in the same direction as the chief, things won’t get done as quickly”. Others said the same thing during the August 20, 2019 hearing. In other words, without the 100% support of the sergeants and lieutenants to the CASA and mandated reforms, there will be little or no progress made with “operational compliance” and reaching a 95% compliance rate will take years.

All APD police sergeants and lieutenants are clearly part of police management and chain of command and should not be a part of the union. The police union refuses to acknowledge or agree to removal of the sergeants and lieutenants from the bargaining unit knowing it will eliminate the unions ability to influence them in management and it will reduce the size of the dues paying union membership.

Sergeants and lieutenants need to be made at will employees and removed from the union bargaining unit in order to get a real buy in to management’s goals of police reform and the CASA. APD Police sergeants and lieutenants cannot serve two masters of Administration Management and Union priorities that are in conflict when it comes to the CASA reforms.

During the next round of union contract negotiations, the city should demand that the management positions of APD sergeant and lieutenant be removed from the APOA Union bargaining unit. Further, the Keller Administration should seek to have the APOA Union removed as a party to the federal lawsuit, the consent decree and CASA negotiations.

Otherwise, the city will continue to deal with the APD Union version of the “Counter-CASA Effect” and it will take far more years to get APD in compliance with all of the reforms.

You can read a related blog article here:

Ninth APD Federal Monitor’s Report Filed; Negotiate Dismissal of CASA

APOA Police Union Is “Counter CASA Affect” Within APD; Remove Sergeants and Lieutenants From Union; Kudos To APD Chief Michael Geier On Reforms

Convoluted Federal Monitors Third “Outcomes Measures and Analysis” Report Red Flag For Another $4 Million Contract; Trump DOJ Has All But Ended Federal Police Reform; Dismiss ABQ’s Consent Decree

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About

Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.