“Counter Casa Effect” Impedes Both DOJ Reforms And “#8 Can’t Wait” Metrics

On June 4, Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair, Albuquerque Police Department (APD) command staff, the City’s Attorney office and Ed Harness, the Director of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency in a one hour press conference, touted progress made by APD in implementing the reforms mandated by the federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) with the Department of Justice (DOJ). The reforms deal with excessive use of force and deadly force by APD.

The press conference was held in part in response to the protests over the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer using excessive force resulting death. Protests that are also occurring in Albuquerque. Keller showcased how APD is measuring up to a national effort known as the “#8 Can’t Waite” program targeting 8 specific policy changes, or metrics, that reform advocates say can help reduce police violence by 77%. According to Keller and Nair, APD has already achieved 6 of the “#Eight Can’t Wait” policy changes. What they did not disclose was that the same “counter CASA effect” that is impeding DOJ reforms is also impeding all “#Eight Can’t Wait” metrics.

The link to the one-hour press conference is here:


This blog article is a deep dive analysis of the “#8 Can’t Wait” metrics, their application to APD, and how the metrics are embodied or reflected in the DOJ mandated reforms. The article also identifies “the counter casa effect” as the biggest impediment to fully implementing the DOJ reforms and the “#8 Can’t Wait” Metrics .


During the press conference, Mayor Keller said the city is meeting 6 of the 8 metrics that “#8 Can’t Wait” is being advocated to be adopted by all police departments in the country. It was on November 27 , 2014, that the city entered into a federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 278 reforms. For almost 6 years, APD has been implementing the CASA reforms.

Of the eight policy changes “8 Can’t Wait” is highlighting, APD received a passing grade for the following 6 areas:

1. Having policies banning choke holds and strangleholds;
2. Requiring de-escalation tactics by police;
3. Requiring that officers warn individuals before shooting;
4. Implementing a “duty to intervene” by police on police;
5. Requiring the use of force continuum limiting types of force and/or weapons that can be used to respond to specific types of resistance;
6. Implementing a policy requiring comprehensive reporting of use of force by police officers.

According to the “8 Can’t Wait” effort, APD has not met the metrics in two areas:

1. Banning all shootings at moving vehicles;
2. Require police to exhaust of “all alternatives before shooting.”

APD command staff said that the department has re-written its operating procedures surrounding the “shooting at moving vehicles” and “exhausting all alternatives before shooting.” Both of the shooting policies are under review for possible changes by APD’s policy review board. APD’s policy changes on the use of force and deadly force have been re written and have evolved over the last five years under the watchful eye of the federal Court Appointed Monitor James Ginger and his monitoring team.

Notwithstanding the passage of almost 6 years, APD continues to struggled with the implementation of all the mandated reforms and is still under a federal court ordered consent decree. Federal Court appointed Independent Monitor James Ginger in his 11th “Independent Monitor Reports” noted APD’s struggle to implement and maintain policy changes and he laid blame by stating that APD personnel

“were still failing to adhere to the requirements of the CASA found in past monitoring reports, including some instances moving beyond the epicenter of supervision to mid- and upper management levels of the organization. … Some in APD’s command levels continue to exhibit behaviors that “build bulwarks” [walls] preventing fair and objective discipline, including a process of attempting to delay and in some cases successfully delaying the oversight processes until the timelines for administering discipline had been exceeded. [The] delays prevented an effective remedial response to behavior that is clearly in violation of established policy.”

… Since the beginning of the CASA compliance process that there were a few at APD who were overtly resistant to the CASA. [The Monitor] in the past [has] found evidence of a “counter-CASA effect” among some at the supervisory, mid-management, and command levels at APD. Those who knowingly or subconsciously count themselves in this group are beginning to face pressure to change their assessment of the value of the CASA. In some cases [they] have faced reasonably prompt and appropriate corrective efforts from the current executive levels of the APD for behavior that is not congruent with the CASA. … This as an essential way forward if APD is to move into full compliance [with all the CASA mandated reforms]. The remaining issue is that this pressure is neither uniform nor persistent.”

See pages 4 and 303 of 11th Federal Monitors Report with the link to the entire report here:



It was in the Federal Monitors 10th audit report that the “Counter CASA” effect was fully explained. According to the Federal Monitor’s 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”.

“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;”


On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the city of Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury refused to indict Wilson, and the U.S. Justice Department decided not to file civil rights charges. Wilson later resigned.

The killing of Brown by police led to months, and sometimes violent protests. The Ferguson protests became the catalyst for the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The Black Lives Matter created “Campaign Zero”, which is a police reform campaign and which developed the “#8 Can’t Waite” program. “#8 Can’t Waite” is intended to provide swift and identified steps to respond to protests against police brutality without having to increase funding. The “#8 Can’t Waite” includes the banning choke-holds by police, changing reporting systems for use of force incidents by police, and requiring officers to intervene when they witness misconduct by another police officer.

All Police departments have standard operating procedures (SOP’s) on the use of force and deadly force and train their officers on those SOPs. Police Officers who follow the SOPs and training will not be subject to disciplinary action if the officer seriously injures a suspect or a bystander. An officer who violates the guidelines is faced with severe personnel disciplinary action, including suspension or termination.

Extensive media attention and public outrage usually accompanies the most egregious incidents of police where a civilian ends up dead or the police misconduct is so disturbing and obvious as to result in criminal charges against police officers. The best example of this in Albuquerque was the March 14, 2014 killing by APD SWAT Officers of mentally ill, homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills.

The entire assault and killing of Boyd were captured on police lapel camera video that was the most critical evidence in the criminal trial of two APD SWAT police officers charged with murder. The jury trial resulted in a dead lock jury and the charges were dismissed by Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez. A civil law suit for wrongful death filed against the City by the Boyd family was settled for $5 million.


The essence of “#Eight Can’t Waite” is 8 procedural rules, or metrics, that Campaign Zero claims decrease police violence by 72% . The 8 metrics are:


The best example as to why police should be banned from the use of choke-holds to subdue a suspect is the July 17, 2014, murder of African American Eric Garner, 43. Garner died after a white officer placed him in a choke-hold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. Garner repeated the words “I can’t breathe” 11 times while he was held in a choke hold. A grand jury declined to indict the police officer, or any others involved in the arrest. The city agreed to pay a $6 million civil settlement.

A chock hold is more of a self-defense tactic to get the upper hand in a fight more than it is a way to subdue someone. When police place a person in a choke hold or a stranglehold, its likely a suspect will suffer serious bodily injury, including brain injury caused by the reduced flow of blood to the brain, spinal cord or neck injury or even death. Police officers should not use choke holds as a means to subdue a suspect and they can be trained in other modes of restraint that will reduce serious bodily injury or deaths. For at least 30 years, most municipal police departments prohibit the use of choke holds.


The use of de-escalation tactics by police mandates that police officers use their best efforts to secure their personal safety through distance and communication before resorting to force. This does not necessarily mandate the communication be an attempt to merely reason with a suspect that cannot be reasoned with but it does require the officer to use common sense in the approach to “communicate in an effort to de-escalate.”


Under United States Supreme Court rulings, there is no requirement that police give warnings before they shoot at a suspect. Many in law enforcement argue that such warnings give a suspect time to react and shoot and kill first.

In the 1980s, the United Stated Supreme Court issued the two landmark decisions of Tennessee v. Garner (link: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/471/1.html ) and Graham v. Connor (link: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/490/386/ ) that established the framework for determining when deadly force by police officers is reasonable and can be used. Under the Supreme Court rulings, police officers are allowed to shoot under two circumstances:

A. To protect their life or the life of another innocent party. This is commonly referred to as the “defense-of-life” standard. Police are trained that when they draw their gun to discharge in self-defense, it is not to maim someone, but to kill. A common term used for the training is “one to the head, two to the body” meaning shoot for the head with the first shot followed by two shots to the chest of the suspect.

B. The second circumstance is to prevent a suspect from escaping. However, in order to discharge their weapon, the police officer must have probable cause to think the suspect poses a dangerous threat to others.


What this refers to is that officers must evaluate the use of other reasonably available resources and techniques when determining whether to use deadly force. Deadly force is only to used when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person. Alternatives to use of deadly force would include the use of electric stun guns, rubber bullets, flash bang shells, tear gas, “police batons” or police canine to secure a resisting suspect.



The “duty to intervene” rule mandates that “by standing or assisting” officers must step in if they observe a fellow officer using excessive force that they believe is not appropriate under the circumstance and formally requires the police officer to report such incidents to supervisors. Many police officers view this as “breaking the blue code of silence”, second guessing, or not backing up the actions of a fellow police officer. The derogatory term used by those opposed to such a policy is that it requires police officers to become “snitches” against a fellow officer and falls into the dangerous philosophy of “your either with me or against me” to avoid any and all accountability for police misconduct.


Shooting at moving vehicles can be dangerous to the public. A moving target means that a shot or shots may not hit the intended target. Stray shots that miss a target can kill or injure an innocent bystander or even a fellow police officer. Further, if a fleeing suspect is in fact hit, injured or killed, the vehicle being driven goes out of control and becomes an immediate danger to the public until it crashes or comes to a full stop. Most police departments restrict shooting at moving vehicles and allow it only for self defense when a vehicle is being driven toward an officer and a suspect is not fleeing the officer. The “8 Can’t Wait” calls for the banning of shootings at vehicles altogether.


The use of force continuum is a specific set of requirements governing what kinds of weapons can be used versus what levels of resistance. The “use of force continuum” describes the escalating series of actions a police officer may take to resolve a situation. The continuum has many levels, and officers are instructed to respond with a level of force appropriate to the situation at hand. The “use of force continuum” allows the officer to move from one part of the continuum to another in a matter of seconds requiring split second decisions that can be reactionary.



Under the “#8 Can’t Wait” police procedural rules the comprehensive reporting requirement means that police officers need to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against a civilian. Such reporting in turn requires an officer’s immediate supervisor, such as a Sergeant or a Lieutenant, to review the report and determine if the “use of force” was in fact justified.

A link for more on #8Can’t Waite is here:



On April 10, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), issued its report of the 18-month civil rights investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The DOJ reviewed excessive use of force and deadly force cases and found that APD engaged in a “pattern and practice” of unconstitutional “use of force” and “deadly force” and found a “culture of aggression” within APD.

On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). APD is one of 18 municipalities in the United States under a Federal Court consent decree for excessive use of force and deadly force. The link to the CASA is here:


What differentiates the DOJ’s investigation of APD from all the other federal investigations of police departments and consent decrees is that the other consent decrees involve in one form or another the finding of “racial profiling” and use of excessive force or deadly force against minorities. The DOJ’s finding of a “culture of aggression” within APD dealt with APD’s interactions and responses to suspects that were mentally ill and that were having psychotic episodes. The deadly encounters have resulted in multi million dollar civil settlements, usually around $5 million. The DOJ’s investigation found APD’s policies, training, and supervision were insufficient to ensure that officers encountering people with mental illness or in distress do so in a manner that respected their rights and in a manner that was safe for all involved.

The City of Albuquerque entered into its Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) which mandates sweeping changes and reforms to APD. Over the last 5 years of implementing the mandated DOJ reforms, APD has made significant progress in implementing the reforms under the watchful eye of a Federal Court approved monitor. The reforms apply as much to the treatment of minorities as to the treatment of the mentally ill.


On November 14, 2020, it will be 6 full years that have expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. Based on a review of the Federal Monitor’s reports and news reports, the City and APD have completed the following 15 mandated reforms under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement:

1.After a full year of negotiations, new “use of force” and “use of deadly force” policies have been written, implemented and all APD sworn have received training on the policies.

2. All sworn police officers have received crisis management intervention training.

3. APD has created a “Use of Force Review Board” that oversees all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force.

4. The Internal Affairs Unit has been divided into two sections, one dealing with general complaints and the other dealing with use of force incidents.

5. Sweeping changes ranging from APD’s SWAT team protocols, to banning choke-holds, to auditing the use of every Taser carried by officers and re-writing and implementation of new use of force and deadly force policies have been completed.

6. “Constitutional policing” practices and methods, and mandatory crisis intervention techniques and de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill have been implemented at the APD police academy with all sworn police having received training.

7. APD has adopted a new system to hold officers and supervisors accountable for all use of force incidents with personnel procedures implemented detailing how use of force cases are investigated.

8. APD has revised and updated its policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all sworn police officers.

9. The Repeat Offenders Project, known as ROP, has been abolished.

10. Civilian Police Oversight Agency has been created, funded, fully staffed and a director hired.

11. The Community Policing Counsels (CPCs) have been created in all area commands and the CPCs meet monthly.

12. The Mental Health Advisory Committee has been implemented.

13. The CASA identified that APD was understaffed. The City and APD are spending $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and grow the department to 1,200 officers. As of January 1, 2020, APD has 949 full time police officers, up from 878 sworn police. The expansion thus far is attributed primarily to hiring from other departments and returning to work APD retirees.

14. Under the terms and conditions of the CASA, once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in 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 levels: primary, secondary, and operational compliance levels. In the 11th audit report that covered the time period of August 1, 2019 and ended in January 31, 2020, the federal monitor found APD was 100% in primary compliance, no change from 10th report, a 93% in secondary compliance, a change of 14.8% from the 10th report, and 66% in operational compliance, a change of 3%.

Primary Compliance relates mostly to development and implementation of acceptable policies and conforming to national practices. APD is now in 93% Secondary Compliance as of the 11th reporting period, which means that effective follow-up mechanisms are beginning to be taken to ensure that APD personnel understand the requirements of promulgated policies in the areas of 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 66% Operational Compliance with the requirements of the CASA, which means that 66% 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.

15. According to the Use of Force Report for the years 2017 and 2018, APD’s “use of force” and “deadly force” is down dramatically , which was one of the primary objectives of the CASA reforms. For related article on use of force reports see:



There are specific areas where major progress has been made by APD implementing the reforms and that actually dove-tail into one or more of the “#Eight Can’t Waite” metrics. Many of these areas were identified during the June 4 press conference. Those areas merit discussion:


The CASA requires APD to participate in a Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF) under a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) with other law enforcement agencies to investigate APD officer involved shootings, serious use of force incidents and in custody deaths, and to provide final reports to prosecuting agencies with jurisdiction over any allege criminal conduct by police officers. New use of force “standard operating procedures” have become operative in early 2020. APD Internal Affairs Force Division (IAFD) is assuming responsibility for investigation Level 3 uses of force. The Monitor found operational compliance by APD with the MATF and MOU.


The CASA requires the City and APD to establish a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRA) comprising of certain members and representatives from various entities or stakeholders including the UNM Psychiatric Department and providers to the homeless and to those who experience mental health crisis. In the 9th Independent Monitors Report (IMR), the Monitor found that the MHRAC continued to be one of the biggest success stories of APD’s community outreach under the CASA. The 10th IMR found operational compliance in this area.


Under the CASA, the city and APD agreed to ensure that all APD Academy cadets, field officers and 911 emergency operators received behavioral health and crisis intervention training, including initial training of 40 hours and biannual update training. All such training has been completed. The 9th Independent Monitors report found that APD has continued to appropriately and effectively utilize training curricula that addresses field assessment, identification, suicide intervention, crisis de-escalation, community mental health participation and scenario-based exercise and role-playing exercises. The 10th Monitor’s Report found operational compliance with the behavioral health training mandates of the CASA.

There are 3 major programs that have been implemented to deal with the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD) interactions with the mentally ill and substance abuse defendants. All 3 programs involve the training of police officers. All 3 programs have the potential to reduce or have reduced the use of excessive force and deadly force by APD.

The 3 APD programs are:

A. Project CIT-ECHO

CIT stands for Crisis Intervention Training and ECHO stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Options. In 2014, the CIT-ECHO project was launched by the city with a grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance to raise awareness of how law enforcement should deal effectively with those struggling with mental health issues. The CIT-ECHO Program consists of weekly video conference workshops with APD and CIT officials.

B. The EPIC Program

The acronym “EPIC” stands for “Ethical Policing Is Courageous.” The EPIC program aims to stem police officer misconduct and use of force and deadly force by police officers. The program uses “hands-on scenarios” and role-playing enactments and demonstrations to teach police officers on how to defuse calls for service that start escalating and that could easily result in the use of excessive force or deadly force.

EPIC focuses on proactively preventing uses of force, rather than just punishing officers when damage is already done, including the killing of a suspect. The primary purpose of the EPIC program is to provide police officers with effective and proper training to learn just how and when to intervene when they themselves see other police officer misconduct. The EPIC program is designed to show police officers how to recognize problematic behavior in fellow officers that may trigger a fellow officer to engage in misconduct.

C. The “LEAD” Program

LEAD stands for “law enforcement assisted diversion” program. The LEAD Program allows APD officers to determine whether the person they’ve arrested needs to go to jail or would better benefit from a trip to a detox facility or a meeting with a case manager who can help them plug into services such as Medicaid, housing vouchers and substance abuse treatment. APD officers are given full discretion to decide to arrest people on low level charges or to rely on the LEAD diversion program. The main goal of the LEAD program is to send people to services before charges are ever filed which is unlike other court diversion efforts such as the Drug Court.


The CASA requires APD to provide academy graduates with 16 weeks of field training following the academy. The Casa also states requirements for the training of field training officers and the training provided to cadets. The 9th and the 10th Independent Monitors Reports found 100% compliance with requiring cadets to complete 16 weeks of field officer training ensuring that the recruits are trained in multiple area commands, on different shifts and establishing a mechanism for confidential feedback.


The CASA originally required APD to conduct a staffing study to determine what level of sworn officers were required to carry out its functions. On December 11, 2015, the 62 page “Albuquerque Police Department Comprehensive Staffing Assessment and Resource Study” was released by the Alexander Weiss Consulting, LLC. The 10th Independent Monitor’s Report found that the staffing study analysis has become less relevant because of the sure passage of time. You can review the 2015 staffing report at this link:



Under the CASA, APD is required to develop a comprehensive recruitment and hiring program and a strategic recruitment plan that clearly identified goals of recruitment efforts. The recruitment plan must include specific strategies for attracting a diverse group of applicants. In response to the CASA mandates, APD is undertaking an aggressive expansion of APD and to recruit 100 police officers a year for 4 years with the goal of having 1,200 sworn police. The Keller Administration is spending $88 million dollars over a 4 year period along with $33 million in none recurring expenditures to grow the department and to implement the DOJ reforms. There are currently 61 sworn police assigned to compliance for the CASA.

The CASA has mandates relating to the recruitment of new cadets and lateral hires from other law enforcement departments. According to the CASA, APD’s hiring and selection process must be based on objective minimum standards that comport with best practices and applicable anti-discrimination laws. Under the CASA, all APD recruits must undergo psychological, medical, polygraph, and drug testing and be subject to background investigations dealing with credit history, employment history, prior use of lethal force and less lethal force and force training and complaint history. An annual recruitment report is also mandated under the CASA. Independent Monitor Reports 9 and 10 found that APD has been in operational compliance with the recruitment and selection requirements of the CASA.


The CASA has requirements for APD’s performance evaluation and promotional policies. The requirements are that:

“APD shall develop a fair and consistent performance evaluation system that reviews particular areas relating to constitutional policing, community policing and more.”

The performance evaluation system under the CASA must be formal and supervisors must be held accountable for failing to timely complete performance evaluations. Supervisors are required to meet with reporting officers, discuss the evaluations and develop work plans. Independent Monitor Reports 9 and 10 found that APD has been in operational compliance for the past two years with the performance evaluations and promotional policies of the CASA.


Both Mayor Tim Keller and CAO Sarita Nair mislead when they tout APD’s success with the DOJ reforms but then failed to disclose that the “Counter CASA Effect” is interfering with implementing the DOJ reforms. By extension, the Counter Casa Effect is also interfering either directly or indirectly all the “#Eight Can’t Waite” metrics.

In his 10th and 11th reports, the Federal Court appointed monitor made it clear that there are many within APD that are overtly resistant to reforms. The Monitor has found evidence of a “counter-CASA effect” among some at the supervisory, mid-management, and command levels at APD. Notwithstanding, both Mayor Keller and CAO Nair have refused to take aggressive action and remove those in the chain of command that are resistant to police reforms.

The following portion of Federal Monitors 10th report merits emphasis by repeating:

“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”.

“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;”

APD sergeants and lieutenants, even though they are part of management with supervisory authority over sworn police officers, are not “at will” employees and they are allowed to join the police union. Including sergeants and lieutenants 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. They are where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to police reforms. The point that has been repeatedly made by the Federal Monitor is that “until the sergeants are in harness and pulling in the same direction as the chief, things won’t get done as quickly”. In other words, without the 100% support of the sergeants and lieutenants to the CASA mandated reforms, there will be little or no progress made with police reforms.

Mayor Keller and CAO Sarita Nair should have demanded from the very beginning of the Keller Administration that the management positions of APD sergeant and lieutenant be removed from the APOA Union bargaining unit. It is more than likely they did not and will not because the police union became extremely active in Keller’s campaign for Mayor in 2017 and endorsed him. The police union will likely do the exact same thing next year as Keller seeks a second term.

Sergeants and lieutenants need to be made at will employees and removed from the police 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 and the #8 Cant’s Waite metrics . Until sergeants and lieutenants are removed from the union and made at will employees, do not expect the CASA reforms or the #8 Can’t Waite” metrics to be accomplished any time soon.

Mayor Tim Keller is now at a crossroad. The very lucrative two year Police Union Contract that provided for substantial raises and longevity pay increases will soon expire. Mayor Keller can order his administration to seek removal of sergeants and lieutenants from the bargaining unit and refuse to sign another contract with the police union until that is done, or just slam the door on any such discussion and continue to give the Police Union any and all it wants as far as concessions. Mayor Keller should begin the discussions by making it clear he will not seek, nor does he want, the APOA Union endorsement at least until the Court Approved Settlement Agreement reforms are 100% implemented and the case is dismissed, and all causes of action, with prejudice.



Below are links to previous blog articles on the CASA and the Federal Monitors Audit Reports:








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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.