City Proposes Accommodating 100 individuals and 25 families At New Gibson Gateway Homeless Shelter; Opposition Continues To Emerge

During the first two years of his term, Mayor Tim Keller said addressing the city’s homeless crisis was a priority by providing emergency shelter and services to an ever-increasing homeless population. Initially, Keller made it a top priority to build a 300-person, 24-7 centralized homeless shelter to to replace the existing West Side Emergency Housing Center, the former jail on the far West Side. In 2019, voters approved $14 million for the project as part of a the general obligation bond package.

Three preferred sites emerged for the centralized emergency shelter:

1. University of New Mexico property near Lomas and Interstate 25
2. The old Lovelace hospital facility on Gibson
3. The Wells Park area near Second and Interstate 40

Strong and organized opposition emerged for a 300-bed centralized facility emerge at all 3 locations. The University of New Mexico Hospital employees, UNM faculty and students made it clear they did not want its land north of Lomas Boulevard to be used for the shelter and the UNM regents agreed. Neighborhood Associations and businesses in the vicinity around Wells Park were particularly vocal given the high number of homeless that congregate daily at Wells Park. Criticism for all 3 locations included that a 300 bed centralized facility would negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood and businesses.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2020, Mayor Tim Keller announced that the city was abandoning the development of a single, 300-bed homeless shelter. In his announcement, Keller said the city would be proceeding with a “multi-site approach” to the city’s homelessness crisis. Mayor Tim Keller went so far as to state that the 300 bed Gateway Center was “off the table”.

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, the city officially announced it had bought the massive 572,000-square-foot complex for $15 million and will transform it into a Gateway Center for the homeless. It was announced that the complex would be only 1 of the multisite homeless shelters and not the 300-bed shelter originally planned. The complex has a 201-bed capacity, but remodeling could likely increase capacity significantly.

After Keller’s April 6 press conference announcing the city has bought the Lovelace Gibson facility, neighborhood protests erupted. Mayor Keller came under severe criticism for his failure to reach a consensus and take community input before the Gibson Medical Center was purchased. Other neighborhood resident complaints included that the shelter will only cause more problems for the area, that the Gibson facility will in fact be converted to a 300 person “mega-shelter” as Keller originally wanted, and that the Gibson Medical Center does not fit the certain criteria announced for the Gateway project, including walkability, access to employment, and a central location. Some residents felt that a 75-to-100-person shelter is way too big and that it should be capped at 30 residents


The zoning for the Gibson Medical Center facility allows for an “overnight shelter” but only as a “conditional use” that must be applied for by the city. The city is now applying for the conditional use arguing there is a strong need for it to enhance Albuquerque’s demand for homeless services to an ever-expanding homeless population. A zoning hearing is scheduled for September 21, 2021.

In anticipation of the zoning application hearing, the City prepared an operations plan for the Gibson site and posted it on its website in mid-August. The “Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub Operations Plan” is an 11 page draft. the topics it covers include the services to be provided, transportation and dining, security and related topics.

EDITORS NOTE: The postscript to this blog article provides the major highlights the Gateway Operations Plan and the link to the 11 page “Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub Operations Plan”

The single most glaring shortcoming of the Gibson Gateway Operations Plan is that it avoided answering the most contentious questions of: 1) the number of beds the shelter will have and 2) the number of homeless it will accommodate on a nightly basis once the remodeling is complete. At the time the operations plan was released, city officials said they planned to have that information by the end of August.


City officials said earlier this year they were contemplating incorporating 150 to 175 emergency shelter beds into what they are now calling the Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub. Neighbor’ living along the Gibson corridor have objected to that number and have gone so far as to had advocate for a cap of 30.

On September 3, the Albuquerque Journal reported that it made inquiries on the Gibson Gateway Center shelter occupancy in anticipation of the September 21 zoning permit hearing. The city said in a statement that it is now considering an operation that gradually ramps up to 100 individuals and 25 families on-site.

Family and Community Services Department planning manager Bobby Sisneros said in a written statement:

“We are still meeting with neighborhood groups and various stakeholders on the best scenario for bed capacity at Gibson Gateway Center. The scenario that seems to be getting the most traction is a phased approach which would accommodate about 25 families and 100 individuals when fully phased in. The phased approach will allow us to evaluate effectiveness and efficiency so we can adjust as needed.”


Rachel Conger Baca, president of the nearby Siesta Hills Neighborhood Association, said the term “family” is not clear-cut, as it could mean anything from a single mother with one child to extended family units that would push the shelter’s total capacity to 200-plus. Baca said the scale does not seem to jibe with the city’s goal of having a “trauma-informed” and said:

“That still doesn’t sound too far off from a 300-bed facility. … We are convinced that the City keeps taking steps that will ensure trauma will be inflicted on the people using the shelter and those who live, work and go to school near it.”

The link to the full Albuquerque Journal is here:


It is downright pathetic that the Keller Administration has never been willing to be up front with the public on the occupancy level of the shelter. What is just as pathetic is that the city said it would disclose the plans by the end of August to the public, but it never did. It took the Albuquerque Journal to hound the Keller Administration on disclosing the information.

The single most egregious shortcoming of the Gibson Gateway Operations Plan is that it avoided answering the most contentious question of the number of beds the shelter will have and the number of homeless it will accommodate on a nightly basis once the remodeling is complete. The Gibson Gateway facility already has a 201-bed capacity and the massive 572,000-square-foot complex could easily be remodeled to accommodate 99 more bed capacity to reach the original 300 facility Mayor Keller wanted.

According to Family and Community Service Director Carol Pearce, the Gibson Gateway shelter will ultimately be just “a slice” of the facility. Pearce has noted that existing mental health care and counseling provider tenants are already on the property that currently occupy about a quarter of the square footage with the city is looking to recruit more.

Lisa Huval, Albuquerque’s deputy director for housing and homelessness said the city should have a number by the time of the conditional use hearing and said the city is still reviewing a consultant’s report and continuing their own research.

Huval has said:

“We know we owe the community an answer on [how many homeless will be sheltered] … we are still in the process of evaluating what the right bed capacity is for the Gateway Center” .

A failure to disclose the number of beds the shelter will have and sticking with that number after the conditional use is granted will likely result in mistrust and resentment by the surrounding neighborhood and cause extreme hostility.

You can expect that the September 21 Conditional Use Application hearing will be contentious, mainly because Mayor Keller has given mixed messages on what he really wants ultimately as he failed to work with the surrounding neighborhoods.



The City of Albuquerque posted on its internet web site an 11 page draft of the “Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub Operations Plan” for the homeless shelter that will be inside the Lovelace Hospital complex the city. The “draft” of the operations plan is dated August, 2021.

The Gateway Operations Plan highlights include the following:

The Gibson Health Hub (GHH) is to be an anchor facility to fill healthcare and social service gaps. The Gateway Center will comprise a portion of the facility to provide shelter and services to the homeless. The mission of the Gateway Center will be to “provide a safe and welcoming place that provides a low-barrier, trauma-informed shelter along with services to the homeless using a client-centered approach.”


The Gateway Center Shelter will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Gateway Center Shelter will have a secured entrance that will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure the safety of those sheltered, staff, volunteers, service provider partner agency staff and volunteers. Only enrolled Gateway Center Shelter guests, staff, program staff and volunteers, and registered partner agency staff and volunteers will be allowed to enter the Gateway Center shelter.

Personal visitors will not be allowed at the Gateway Center Shelter, except under limited conditions with express permission. Residents can come and go as needed while following a curfew policy, with exceptions to include work and personal needs and unanticipated issues such as family crisis. Weapons will not be allowed at the Gateway Center. There will be a weapons policy & procedure to address weapons brought on site. Clients will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they are aware of the weapons policy & procedure.

The City intends to establish a public safety district around the Gateway Center, which will be a concentrated, coordinated effort between City Departments that address public safety, including Albuquerque Community Safety, APD, Albuquerque Fire and Rescue, Family and Community Services, Parks and Recreation and Solid Waste. The purpose of the Public Safety District will be to better coordinate existing resources and efforts. Community policing will be included.


The City of Albuquerque will work with the organizations operating the Gateway Center to establish procedures for critical incident response. Threats and assaults to staff and clients will not be tolerated. A 9 policy and procedure addressing threats and assaults to client and staff will be established. Any guest who threatens or assault staff or clients will be exited from the Gateway Center, and will receive transportation to their exit destination. De-escalation procedures will be established. All Gateway Center staff will receive training in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques. The procedures will address appropriate use of APD to resolve safety issues at the Gateway Center.


The Gateway Center service staff will conduct a general assessment with individuals and families to verify that the Gateway Center is an appropriate option. As part of this assessment, Gateway Center staff will assess whether the presenting individual or family can be safely diverted to a non-shelter alternative. The Gateway Shelter will establish a referral process for community organizations, including other homeless assistance providers and other local service agencies. Gateway Center staff will conduct an assessment that will address any immediate issues that need to be resolved, including physical or medical health issues that may require a triage to more appropriate options. This may include, medical respite, detox or recovery programs. The Gateway Center programming will incorporate a trauma-informed approach that is equitable, culturally and spiritually accommodating, and supportive of LGBTQ+, people of color and people living with disabilities.

“The Gateway Center will be a low barrier shelter that follows the Housing First principles to address immediate and long-term housing needs. As a low-barrier and inclusive shelter, the Gateway Center will accept unhoused people who may have complex histories, including a criminal history. The Gateway Center will leverage existing services and develop partnerships for referrals into the community to foster collaboration and not competition. This includes creating space within the Gateway Center for other community partners to connect with guests and provide services, such as satellite office space. The Gateway Center will operate with a harm reduction philosophy to address substance use disorders. Guests do not need to be clean and sober to access the Engagement Center or Shelter, but they cannot use drugs on site.”


The Gateway Center will have two major components: an Engagement Center and the Shelter. The Engagement Center will serve as a “warm and welcoming access point to services”, while also helping to meet the most immediate needs of unhoused people coming to the Shelter. The Shelter will provide low barrier, trauma-informed shelter that meets people where they are at with a client-centered approach to develop a plan to achieve housing stability. Through the “Engagement Center”, the Gateway Center will provide person-centered services that “meet people where they are at” to achieve housing and behavioral health stability. Intake to services will be staged according to client need and interests. “Programs will embody a person-centered approach to support connections to community, and attain housing and behavioral health stability so that homelessness is a brief, rare, one-time experience.”


The City will have an onsite Gateway Center Administrator to oversee operations. One onsite Community Outreach Coordinator and a Gateways Systems Analyst will report to the Administrator. The Gateway Center Administration will be responsible for overseeing all Gateway Center Operations. The Systems Analyst will be responsible for ensuring systems are place to implement and evaluate effective service delivery, including data systems. The Community Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating day-to-day operations with the organizations selected to operate the Gateway Center.


“The Gateway Center will operate a shuttle system. The shuttle system will transport referred guests to the Gateway Center for intake and assessment. The shuttle system will provide transportation to 6 individuals and families exiting the Gateway Center to their exit destination. Some Gateway Center clientele will also utilize public transportation.”
The Gateway Center will have a dining area that will be open daily for three meals per day, and a facility shuttle system will transport referred clients into the shelter and, eventually, to their “exit destination.” The initial anticipated hours for dining will be 7:00am-9:00am; 11:00am1:00pm; 5:00pm-7:00pm, and food donations will be accepted.


No Encampments will be allowed on the Gibson Gateway Shelter property. The Department of Family and Community Services (DFCS) public outreach team will be responsible for addressing encampments on all public property. Two of the public outreach team members will be based at the Gibson Gateway facility. According to the operation plan, the DFCS public outreach team will monitor the ¼-mile radius from Gibson Gateway Shelter daily for encampments on public or private property. For encampments on public property, DFCS will post notice the same day the encampment is observed. The DFCS outreach team will refer any encampments located on private property to the Planning Department Code Enforcement Division.

The link to the 11 page “Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub Operations Plan” is here:

NM Democrats Announce Crime Package For 2022 NM Legislative Session; Gov. MLG Backs “Rebuttable Presumption of Dangerousness” To Jail Defendants Charged With Violent Crime Until Trial

On August 16, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she had order 35 New Mexico State Police (NMSP) officers to begin “proactive operations” and crime suppression operations in the Albuquerque area to help deal with the rising violent crime rates. During her announcement the Governor took the opportunity to make a pitch for funding from the legislature for the upcoming 2022 legislative session that begins mid January 2022 to hire 1,000 new police officers in the next few years. The Legislature will meet in special session in the fall to deal with redistricting. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will put criminal justice initiatives on the “Governor’s call agenda” for the 30-day session that is confined to budget negotiations.

On August 16, House Republicans urged Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to call a special session focused on crime. Tripp Stelnicki, spokesman for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, said the governor has no plans to call a special session on crime this year. Stelnicki said:

“The 30-day session is only a few short months away and we’re using the time between now and then to identify which proposals have legs and will make a difference, rather than those that are just talking points and empty demands. ”


On September 3, and in the wake of the killing of 13-year-old, eighth grader Bennie Hargrove being shot and killed at Washington Middle school by another student who took his dad’s gun to school, 4 APD police officers being shot while trying to arrest a violent criminal, and Albuquerque breaking the all-time homicide record with 86 murders, specific crime measures are being proposed for the upcoming 30-day legislative session.

Seventeen House Democrats, including majority floor leader Javier Martinez and Representatives Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque, announced a lengthy list of goals for next regular legislative session that begins January 18, 2022. The legislation is being offered to address the he increase in violent crime in Albuquerque which is seen by the rest of the state as the center of violent crime. Last year, CBS News rated Albuquerque ninth among the top 50 most violent cities in the country. There have been 86 victims of homicide this year in Albuquerque.

Proposals for the session comes as legislators are preparing for two legislative sessions: a special redistricting session later this year and a 30-day regular session starting January 18, 2022. From January 4, 2022 to January 14 legislation may be prefilled by legislators for he session beginning on January 18 at noon and ending February 2 at noon.

The “crime-fighting” package proposed includes expanded mental health treatment programs and increased criminal penalties. As presented, the proposed legislation includes 16 proposals. Some of the proposed legislation is being drafted but it is anticipated that much of it will be finalized and profiled from January 4 to January 14.

Major highlights of the legislation outlined by the Albuquerque area Democrats include the following:

1. Major changes to the state’s pretrial detention system to keep certain individuals charged with violent crimes in jail until trial.

2. Extending prosecutors’ time limit for filing second-degree murder charges.

3. Increasing the criminal penalties for violent crime such as second degree murder. The current penalty for second degree murder is an 18 year basic sentence and is 12 years with mitigating circumstance and 24 years with aggravating circumstances.

4. Create new criminal penalty for failing to safely store firearms out of children’s reach.

5. To address gun violence, the legislators want establish state office of gun violence protection.

6. Place new restrictions or the sale or reduce high-capacity ammunition magazines for automatic weapons.

7. Increase pay levels and provide retention bonuses for law enforcement officers and provide recruitment and retention money and policies for police officers.

8. Crack down on those who own or operate chop shops that sell stolen vehicle parts such catalytic converters in automobiles and a crackdown on property damage in the theft of copper. an

9. Extend statute of limitations for certain violent crimes.

10. Increase funding for crime prevention grant program for local communities for street lighting .

11. Expand youth substance abuse and detox centers and increase the workforce that provides service for mental health and addiction..

In recent years the legislature has passed tougher penalties for drunken driving and distributing child pornography and have been signed into law.

Representative Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, said lawmakers are offering the legislation now because they want to get the governor’s attention so she and her staff can start looking at the proposal and “make decisions on where we are going.” Maestas said it’s time for lawmakers to “start pricing out the proposals.” He also said momentum has been building among lawmakers to do something about crime and said “We’re part of the community that feels the sorrow and pain our constituents do.”

Representative Meredith Dixon, D-Albuquerque, said that she is hopeful some crime-related proposals, including a bill dealing with penalties for stealing copper materials, can win bipartisan support.

Representative Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, the chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the proposed crime package is supported by all 18 House Democrats from Albuquerque. According to Chasey, the legislation is taking a “multi-faceted approach” to addressing violent crime across the state and had this to say:

“What’s become evident is that while we have been increasing our investments in long-term solutions like education, families, and mental and behavioral health, much more needs to be done to address the violence happening today.”

Links to quoted news source and articles are here:


It was in 2016 that New Mexico voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that did away with the money bail bond system. The change in the law resulted in doing away with defendants charge with low level nonviolent crimes being held simply because they lacked the ability to post a bond. It further authorized judges to order defendants charged with violent crimes held in custody without bond jailed until trial only if prosecutors can show the accused represents a danger to the community and that there are no conditions of release that will protect the community.

On August 28, Governor Lujan Grisham made it known now that she wants to see changes in the state’s pretrial detention system now viewed as too lenient in releasing violent criminals pending trial. According to the Governor, she wants to shift the burden of proof so that people charged with violent offenses are required to show they can safely be released into the community pending trial. In a statement, Lujan Grisham had this to say:

“I believe a rebuttable presumption for individuals accused of violent crimes can be a wedge in the revolving door of repeat violent offenses that have characterized the worst aspects of the crime our state continues to experience.”

The Governor’s change of heart relating to pre-trial detention and jailing those who are charged with violent crimes until trial should sound familiar. Since being elected to his first term as Bernalillo County District Attorney in 2016, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez has pushed for such changes claiming that judges were requiring prosecutors to prove that there were no conditions of release pending trial that would insure the public’s safety and that a defendant posed an immediate threat to the public. Now that he is running for Attorney General, expect Torrez to push it even harder so he can claim credit if it passes the legislature.

Not at all surprising is that Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur opposes the shift in the burden of proof making it the burden of the accused to establish they are not a danger to the community and should be released pending trial. Such a rebuttable presumption of dangerousness and holding an accused until trial shifts the burden of proof to a defendant and is contrary to the constitutional right of presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution. According to Bauer, only 3% of people released prior to trial commit a violent crime after their release pending trial and said:

“I’m extremely concerned about allowing the government to hold people in jail for months just because someone said you did something.”


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham along with statewide offices for governor, attorney general and secretary of state and all 70 members of the New Mexico House are up for re-election in 2022 and this explain in part why crime is now emerging as a priority.


In the past, Democratic lawmakers blocked many Republicans backed crime bills from advancing including a push to bring back the death penalty for those convicted of certain violent offenses. It is not at all likely that the death penalty will ever be reinstated in the state in that Democrats hold a commanding 45-24 advantage over Republican’s and that is not likely to change.

When asked if crime is going to be an issue for lawmakers to contend with in next year’s 2022 general election, Representative Maestas said:

“Sadly, the rhetoric of last few months has made it a political issue, and I’m sure next fall it will become a political issue again.”

True to form, Republicans are already trying to make crime an issue. House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, sent out an email responding to the Albuquerque Democrats’ proposal and said in his email:

“We hope they are as serious about addressing crime as they have been about coddling criminals throughout our communities. We also hope they start to give law enforcement the credit and respect they deserve. The disregard Democrat legislators have for our officers is simply not conducive to turning things around.”

When the New Mexico Der Führer Republican Party had the majority in the New Mexico house not more than 6 years ago, Der Führer Republicans and the likes of Republican James Townsend, R-Artesia had no problem with the heavy-handed approach they took against all Democrat House members. Republicans blocked all Democrat sponsored legislation and went along with the “all crime all the time” sessions promoted by former Governor “She Who Shall Not Be Named”. New Mexico Der Führer Republican Party legislators have always had the “lock em up and throw away the key” crime philosophy. They believe no one can be rehabilitated and warehousing those convicted of crimes at all levels, including non violent crimes and white collar crimes, and be damned the cost and the overcrowding. It was that philosophy which lead to the Bernalillo County Jail becoming so severely overcrowded that a federal lawsuit was filed that lasted 20 years and court supervision of the jail with millions spent to build a new jail.

The truth is the only thing that would be conducive to turning things around in New Mexico is for Der Führer Republicans such as Townsend to knock it off with their inflammatory and false accusations and blaming Democrats for being “soft on crime”. If not, they should move to Texas and run for the legislature where they would likely feel far more comfortable. What you can expect from the likes of Townsend is an attempt to reinstate the death penalty, making a woman’s right to choose an abortion in the state illegal, eliminating mental health care and drug treatment programs and believing the only way to bring down crime is to warehouse and jail people for any and all crimes believing that once a criminal, always a criminal.


Thirty-day legislative sessions, also known as a short session, are supposed to be limited to budget and tax legislation, proposed constitutional amendments and previously vetoed bills. The “crime-fighting” package outlined on August 2 by Albuquerque area democrats is a very good start but much more can be done. It would be a major mistake for the New Mexico Legislature to even attempt to tackle enactment in a 30 day session of so much crime legislation.

Despite whatever misgivings the Governor may have, she should consider a Special Legislative Session to immediately follow the 30 days session to deal exclusively with crime and responsible gun control legislation.

A special legislature should consider the following:

1.Enact legislation making it a crime to fail to secure a firearm. Gun owners would have to keep their firearms in a locked container or otherwise make them inaccessible to anyone but the owner or other authorized users.

2.Review additional bail bond reforms and statutorily empower judges with more authority and more discretion to hold and jail those pending trial who have prior violent crime convictions.

3. Prohibit in New Mexico the sale of “ghost guns” parts. Ghost guns are guns that are manufactured and sold in parts without any serial numbers to be assembled by the purchaser and that can be sold to anyone.

4. Requiring in New Mexico the mandatory purchase of “liability insurance” with each gun sold as is required for all operable vehicles bought and driven in New Mexico.

5. Enact a gun violence restraining order and extreme risk protection process to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law local law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession.

6. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person, including dating partners, convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.

7. Mandate and fund public school systems and higher education institutions to “harden” their facilities with more security doors, security windows, security measures, including metal detectors at single entrances designated and alarm systems and security cameras tied directly to law enforcement 911 emergency operations centers.

8. Repeal the New Mexico Constitutional provision that allows the “open carry” of firearms. This would require a public vote and no doubt generate heated discussion given New Mexico’s high percentage of gun ownership for hunting, sport or hobby.


Without reasonable and responsible gun control legislation, and aggressive law enforcement and prosecution of violent criminals, New Mexico and Albuquerque will continue have spiking violent crime and such rates will be the new normal and not the exception.

“I Am Now Your Worst Nightmare”; Keller And APD Medina Taken To Task Over 4 Police Officers Shot; APD Unable To Do Its Job With Too Few Assigned to Field Services; 61 Sworn Police Assigned To DOJ Compliance; A Failure By Keller and Medina To Manage APD Personnel Resources

On Thursday, August 19, 4 Albuquerque Police Officers were injured following a shooting in northeast Albuquerque. The shooting happened as the 4 officers responded to a robbery by the Dutch Bros. near Mountain and Juan Tabo. All 4 of the injured officers have each been with APD for more than 10 years. The 4 officers identified are:

Officer Mario Verbeck: It was Verbeck who dispatched to the call. He was shot in the neck and arm. On Thursday, September 2, 2021, he was released from the hospital to return to his family and continue his recovery at home. Officer Verbeck is a a 17-year veteran with the department and joined the department in 2004.

Officer James Eichel Jr.: Eichel was sent to assist Verbeck on the call. He was shot in the forearm and is still hospitalized. He has been with APD since 2009.

Officer Harry Gunderson: He was struck in the eye by shrapnel. He has been with the department since 2004.

Sgt. Sean Kenny: He was shot in his bulletproof vest, sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital. He has been with APD since 1999.

James Ramirez, who is accused of shooting Mario Verbeck was arrested and is is behind bars.


On September 6, a remarkable press conference was held in front of the old City Hall Building organized by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Tryna Verbeck, the wife of one of the 4 APD officers injured called out Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Harold Medina as being “equally accountable” for her husband’s shooting. Tryna Verbeck, the wife of APD Police Officer Mario Verbeck, accompanied by others, including APD Officer James Eichel who was also shot and now in a left arm sling, stood stoically by her side as she read a statement.

In a very emotional and angry statement, Tryna Verbeck had this to say:

“I am here to let people know that I am now your worst nightmare. You will not use my husband or the other officers as your political backdrop. … APD is a family as much as it is a police department but under your direction [Mayor Keller and Chief Medina], APD has fallen apart. Staffing is a joke as there are more officers doing non-police work than responding to calls. When my husband was on duty at the time of the shooting, there were only five officers on-patrol in my husband’s squad in the Foothills area and four of them were shot.”


Chief Medina released a lengthy statement in response to the press conference. Following are the most pertinent remarks relevant to this blog article:

“There is no doubt that morale among officers was impacted by several issues and events over the past year-and-a-half – from the anti-police protests in 2020, to the challenges of the pandemic and the struggles resulting from mandates by the DOJ settlement. As a result, we have lost officers to retirement or decisions to leave the profession. Those losses compounded the problem of not being fully staffed, even though we have hired hundreds of new officers.

I expressed many of those concerns to the DOJ and the monitors. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction where officers do not feel supported, or that they can do their jobs effectively and safely in all situations. At the same time, we can’t simply move every officer to patrol the streets, as some have suggested. I don’t have the authority to defy a court order. But we have to be honest about the reality we face. My responsibility is to the people of Albuquerque who want us to fight crime while protecting the rights of all individuals.
… . “


In response Tryna Verbeck, Mayor Keller released the following statement:

“APD has been under intense pressure to change as a result of the DOJ settlement agreement, the time pressures from ever-changing court rules, and the shortage of officers that persists despite all of our hiring. Officers feel that pressure every day. We started the Metro Crime Initiative to pull everyone together to fix these system-wide problems. We have also expressed our concerns to the DOJ, the court monitors and the federal delegation because we can’t continue to improve if officers do not feel supported. … we have increased funding to APD each year because we know that our community is safer and officers can make better choices with good technology and adequate staffing.”

Keller’s and Medina’s full statements can be found at the links to news coverage here:


At the center of the statements issued by Mayor Keller and Chief Medina in response to Tryna Verbeck are the mandates of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and APD staffing. For that reason, both the reforms mandated and staffing levels under the settlement need to be addressed.


On November 10, 2014 the city and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) that mandates 271 major reforms, The link to the 106-page negotiated CASA agreement can be found at this link:

There are 16 Major reform mandates under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) settlement and they are:

1. 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 implement new use of force and deadly force policies.

2. The CASA mandates the teaching of “constitutional policing” practices and methods as well as mandatory crisis intervention techniques and de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill.

3. The City agreed that APD would overhaul and rewrite all of its “use of force policies” and “deadly force” policies, recruitment procedures, training, internal affairs procedures and implement field supervision of officers.

4. Stricter training and restrictions on the use of nonlethal force is required under the CASA, and it requires more training and controls over the use of Tasers by officers along with quarterly audits of their use.

5. The city agreed to the creation of a Police Oversight Board (POB) as a civilian review agency that independently reviews citizen complaints, serious uses of force and officer-involved shootings by APD. The civilian agency also monitors, reviews and make recommended changes to APD policy on use of force.

6. Under the CASA, the city agreed to the creation of Police Civilian Advisory Councils (CPCs), one in each of the 6 APD area commands, designed to increase community interaction.

7. The CASA broadens and removes obstacles to the types of civilian complaints Internal Affairs and the civilian oversight agency can review.

8. The CASA provides for the appointment of a Federal Court Monitor selected by agreement of the parties with the City to pay for the auditing services of the federal monitor. The primary duties and responsibilities of the federal monitor is to report directly to the federal judge on APD’s compliance with the mandatory reforms.

9. The agreement mandates that APD adopt a new system to hold officers and supervisors accountable for all use of force incidents with personnel procedures implemented and outlining details how use of force cases would be investigated. It requires far more reporting by officers and field supervisors and also requires detailed reviews of those reports up the chain of command within the department. Sergeants and lieutenants are required to be much more involved in field supervision and review of use of force by officers.

10. Under the agreement, officers who point their firearms at a person, but don’t fire, must fill out a use of force report that will be reviewed by field supervisors. That review is separate from a city civilian police oversight agency that will be independent of the department and will review police use of force incidents as well as civilian complaints.

11. The City agreed to create a new “Use of Force Review Board” to oversee all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force. A new chain of command for the review of Internal Affairs reports of officer-involved shootings was created that reviews the Internal Affairs Reports and makes recommendations on discipline or asks for further investigation of an incident, and the board makes recommendations on discipline to the APD Chief. The Use of Force Board is required to make quarterly reports after reviewing all use of force reports to identify trends and policy changes.

12. APD agreed to revise and update its policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all police officers.

13. Under the CASA, the City agreed to abolish the Repeat Offenders Project, known as ROP, within three months of signing the agreement for the reason that members of the unit were involved in a number of the controversial shootings investigated by the DOJ.

14. The agreement provides that if the city fails to implement the reforms or shows bad faith in the implementation of the CASA, the DOJ has the option of filing a federal lawsuit against the city over the city’s unconstitutional policing practices found by the DOJ investigation.

15. Certain types of hand-to-hand techniques are barred under the CASA unless the officer is in a situation that require the use of lethal force if it were available. Neck holds, sometimes called choke-holds, are explicitly forbidden to be used by officers except in situations where lethal force would be authorized.

16. A major change in the CASA bans APD officers from firing their weapons at moving vehicles in all but life-threatening situations.


It is section IX of the CASA that addresses APD’s staffing levels.

Paragraph 203 of the settlement states:

“To maintain high-level, quality service; to ensure officer safety and accountability; and to promote constitutional, effective policing, the City shall ensure that APD has the staffing necessary to implement the terms of this Agreement. APD shall also deploy a sufficient number of first-line supervisors to respond to scenes of uses of force; investigate thoroughly each use of force to identify, correct, and prevent misconduct; and provide close and effective supervision necessary for officers to improve and develop professionally. APD shall revise and implement policies for supervision that set out clear requirements for supervision and comport with best practices.”

Paragraph 204, under the heading STAFFING, states as follows:

“A. Staffing. In order to successfully implement the provisions of this Agreement, APD shall assess the appropriate number of sworn and civilian personnel to perform the different Department functions necessary to fulfill its mission. APD therefore shall conduct a comprehensive staffing assessment and resource study. The study shall be the predicate for determining appropriate staffing and resource levels that are consistent with community-oriented policing principles and support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques. The study shall also consider the distribution of officers to patrol functions as opposed to specialized units, as well as the distribution of officers with less than three years of experience across shifts and Area Commands.”

Page 66, Settlement Agreement, with the link here:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Court Approved Settlement Agreement has absolutely no specific or minimum number of staffing requirements. It says APD needs to fund and hire a sufficient number of sworn police to carry out its function. In other words, it is totally up to and the responsibility for APD and its management to adequately staff the department. Nowhere does the settlement agreement mandate the creation of an entire Compliance Bureau. Mayor Tim Keller, ostensibly overreacting to a recommendation from the Federal Monitor, ordered APD to create a Compliance Bureau. The bureau consists of 1 Deputy Chief, 3 Commanders, 1 Deputy Commander, 6 Lieutenants, and 10 Sergeants and 40 detectives for a total of 69 sworn police to perform oversight functions. The number of personnel assigned to the Compliance Bureau is at the discretion of the Chief and indirectly the city’s Chief Administrative Officer and the Mayor.

On December 11, 2015, the 62 page “Albuquerque Police Department Comprehensive Staffing Assessment and Resource Study” was released by the Alexander Weiss Consulting, LLC.

You can review the 2015 staffing report at this link:

The December 11, 2015 APD staffing report concluded 1,000 sworn police officers were sufficient for Albuquerque provided that APD officers did not respond to certain low priority calls such as minor traffic accidents or false alarm calls. In 2009, APD was staffed with 1,100 sworn police, but from 2009 to 2017, the department dwindle to 860 sworn police.

APD upper command for the last 11 years has insisted that APD need upwards of 1,200 sworn police to do its job and for Community Base policing. For the last 12 years, APD has failed to recruit and hire enough officers to keep the department at the current funding levels.


At the very core of what Tryna Verbeck had to say to Mayor Keller and the Chief Medina is the fact that APD’s poor staffing levels contributed to the shootings and that field officers are overwhelmed to the point they can not do their jobs. Current staffing levels as well arrest numbers support her accusations as being 100% accurate.

During the February 8, 2021, City Council Public Safety Committee, then Interim Chief Harold Medina reported that APD had 957 sworn police. Of the 957 sworn police, Medina reported a mere 371 sworn police were in Field Services responding to calls for service or 39% of the entire sworn force. The 371 sworn police taking calls for service were spread out over 3 shifts and 8 area commands to patrol and based on crime rates in the areas. Medina also told the committee that Field Services has 6 area commanders, 18 lieutenants, 53 sergeants’, 21 bicycle officers for a total of 511 officers assigned to field services. The problem is commanders, lieutenants, sergeants, and bicycle officers do not patrol the streets and are not dispatched to calls for service as are the field officers.

Fast forward to August, 2021 and after the 2021-2022 APD budget was approved. APD is the largest budget department in the city. APD’s approved general fund operating 2022 budget is upwards of $222 million. The 2022 approved APD operating budget has funding for 1,100 sworn positions and 592 civilian support positions for a total of 1,692 full-time positions. It also includes funding for new positions, including 11 investigators to support internal affairs and the department’s reform obligations under the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement, and two communications staffers.

Notwithstanding the approved funding for 1,100 sworn police the number of police officers patrolling the street of Albuquerque is dangerously low. As of July 24, 2021, APD has 940 sworn police according to city personnel records, but only 369 are actually patrolling the streets of the city. The 369 filed service officers are divided into 6 area commands and 3 separate shifts.


According to a recent ABQReport, police officers are leaving APD in droves and either moving on to other departments or just simply retiring. The total number of APD full time sworn police officers has dwindled from 998 at the end of March of 2021 to 940 as of July 24, 2021 with the department losing 58 officers in a 4-month span. APD continues to lose officers at an alarming rate.

In June, APD announced the list for police uniform officer’s bids for shifts. These are the field officers who are dispatched by 911 and who respond to calls for service and who also patrol the streets of Albuquerque. It is field officers that are the backbone of APD and who patrol the city streets, 7 days a week and assigned to the 6 area commands in 3 shifts. On the date the first bid list was produced, APD had a disappointing 376 officers who made bids. Since June the number reduced to 363 officers, a reduction of 13 officers in just a month.

The link to the full ABQReport is here:


On May 17, the Albuquerque City Council voted unanimously to approve the 2021-2022 city budget of $1.2 billion, $711.5 million of which is the General Fund. With 27 different departments, the city employs upwards of 6,400 full time employees to provide the essential services city wide. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is the largest budget department in the city. APD’s approved 2022 general fund operating budget is upwards of $222 million, or roughly 4.5% higher than fiscal year 2021 levels.

The 2021-2022 APD Budget provides funding for 1,100 sworn positions and 592 civilian support positions for a total of 1,692 full-time positions. It also includes funding for new positions, including 11 investigators to support internal affairs and the department’s reform obligations under the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement. APD has 998 sworn officers after the March graduation of cadets from the APD academy, but is down to 987. Last year’s budget also had funding for 1,100 officers, but APD has failed over the last 7 years to reach budgeted staffing levels.

Major highlights of the 2021-2022 approved APD budget include:

$2.3 million in funding to annualize funding for 44 additional sworn officer positions added in FY/21.
$1.6 million for a net increase of 20 full-time positions. 11 investigator positions are funded to support internal affairs and compliance with the Department of Justice.
$800,000 for the Department of Justice Independent Federal Monitor required under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement that is still pending after 6 years.
$986,000 thousand for electronic control weapons (TAZER weapons) as mandated by the CASA.
$400,000 for the Use of Force Review contract. This funding is for the External Force Investigation Team.

A major failure identified by the Federal Monitor was that APD’s Internal Affairs (IA) was not properly investigating serious use of force instances by APD police officers. On February 26, 2021 a stipulated order creating the new EFIT unit was entered into by the parties. The EFIT is an additional layer of review of uses of force cases by APD sworn. The EFIT team will train APD Internal Affairs (IA) investigators on how to properly investigate uses of force instances by APD police officers. The City agreed that at least 25 force investigators would be assigned to the APD Internal Affairs until APD demonstrates that fewer investigators are necessary to timely investigate uses of force by APD Officers.


APD’s approved budgets for the last 2 years contains a “line item” appropriation identified as “PD-PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY” which is essentially a consolidation reference to all of APD’s Department of Justice compliance functions. The biggest responsibilities of the Compliance Bureau is the ongoing cooperation and working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree (CASA) and its implementation of its terms and conditions.

The Compliance Bureau consists of the Internal Affairs Professional Standards Division (IA), Policy and Procedure Division, Accountability and Oversight Division, Internal Affairs Force Division and the Behavioral Health and Crisis Intervention Section and includes funding for training provided by the APD Academy for constitutional policing practices mandated under the CASA.

Internal Affairs (IA) deals with investigation police misconduct cases, including excessive use of force. Crisis Intervention deals with the crisis intervention teams who deal with the mentally ill and police encounters. Policy and Procedures deals with the review and writing of standard operating procedures that must comply with the CASA reforms.

It was last year’s 2020-2021 Fiscal Year approved general fund budget that revealed the actual number of sworn police officers dedicated to compliance with the DOJ mandated reforms. The 2020-2021 fiscal year budget for APD contains a line item of $29,280,000 for “PD-PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY” which is funding for APD’s Compliance Bureau and Internal Affairs responsible for overseeing APD sworn police and ensure compliance with the court order reforms.

According to an August 1, 2019 “Staffing Snapshot”, the Compliance Bureau has total staffing of 61 sworn police consisting of 40 Detectives, 1 Deputy Chief, 3 Commanders, 1 Deputy Commander, 6 Lieutenants, and 10 Sergeants.

In addition to the $29,280,000 line item allocation, last year’s 2020-2021 APD approved budget included:

$5.2 million for continued work to comply with the Court Approved Settlement Agreement with the Department of Justice, which is funding for the Federal Monitor.
$627,000 to acquire electronic control weapons that have an audit trail to monitor usage and compliance with use of force policies.
$594,000 to purchase on-body cameras, as required by the CASA and state law.


Each year, the City of Albuquerque City Council reviews and approves the city budget. The budgets are prepared by the Mayor and released each year on April 1st. From April 1 to June 30, the City Council are required to conduct budget hearings and must adopt a city budget that is in effect from July 1 to June 30, with each fiscal year budget adopted referred to as the following year fiscal year budget. On May 21, 2021, the city council enacted the 2022 city budget that became effective on July 1, 2021 and ends June 30, 2022.

The City of Albuquerque budget is what is referred to as a performance-based budget. The City’s budget is formulated in two parts: 1. A financial plan and 2. Performance plan. The Financial Plan is organized by department budgets and funds, and program strategy. Funds are groupings of related accounts that are used to maintain control over resources that have been segregated for specific activities.

When it comes to APD, statistics are compiled in areas that reflect performance and outcomes aimed at influencing the larger outcomes and goals that APD is striving to achieve. The performance measures are absolutely critical in order for the City Council to understand fully the shortcomings and strengths of APD and make critical budget decisions. Without such statics, budget review and decisions are done in the dark and in a real sense become useless, become an exercise in futility and the city council is relegated to rubber stamping whatever budget is presented to them.

APD statistics are compiled in areas that reflect performance and outcomes aimed at influencing the larger outcomes and goals that APD is striving to achieve. The performance measures capture APD’s ability to perform the services at the highest level achieved from the previous year.

There are 5 major statistical calculations that go to the very core of any police department and its effectiveness. Those are:

1. Calls for service handled by police
2. Response Times
3. The number of arrests made each year
4. The number of sworn police employed to carry out the mission to serve and protect the public.
5. The number of arrests

Following is an analysis of each category:


For the Fiscal Years of F/Y 14 to F/Y 20 the total number of calls for service were:

FY/14 # of Calls for service: 518,553
FY/15 # of Calls for service: 518,751
FY/16 # of Calls for service: 547,854
FY/17 # of Calls for service: 564,610
FY/18 # of Calls for service: 580,303
FY/19 # of Calls for service: 543,574
FY/20 # of Calls for service: 524,286


A February 20th KOAT TV Target 7 investigation into the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD’s) response times revealed an alarming level of time it takes APD to respond to 911 emergency calls. The longer the time it takes for APD to respond to priority 1 calls has a major impact on increasing the likelihood physical injury and perhaps even death. It was reported that it takes APD 23 minutes longer to get to an emergency call than it did 8 years ago. According to the report, there has been an astonishing 93% increase since 2011 with response times getting worse every year since. In 2011, the average response time to all calls, whether it was a life-or-death emergency or a minor traffic crash was 25 minutes. In 2019, that time period spiked to 48 minutes in the average response time.

The link to the full KOAT TV Target 7 report is here:

On August 11, 2021, KOB 4 did a report on APD response times. KOB 4 requested the response times from APD management for Priority 1 calls over the last few years. Priority 1 calls are calls made to 911 and include shootings, stabbings, armed robberies, sexual and aggravated assaults, domestic violence with weapons involved and home invasions. According to the data reviewed the time it takes a dispatch APD officer to get to a crime scene stayed relatively consistent between January 2018 to May 2021. The response time data obtained by KOB 4 revealed some drastic differences in recent years. In 2018, clearing a crime scene ranged from an hour to 1 hour and 12 minutes. Fast forward to 2021 and APD is averaging more than 2 hours to write reports, gather evidence and interview witnesses, or a full 1 hour longer than three years ago.

The link to the full KOB 4 report is here:

The biggest reasons for the dramatic increase in APD response times is the reduction in the number of sworn police patrolling city streets with a corresponding increase in calls for service and 911 emergency calls. Not at all surprising is that when you examine APD’s manpower levels over the past 10 years, response times were quicker when there were more sworn police assigned to the field services and more arrests were being made.


When it comes to APD, arrest are broken down into 3 major categories: Felony Arrests, Misdemeanor Arrests and DWI Arrests. The number of Felony Arrest, Misdemeanor Arrests and DWI Arrests and sworn police for APD over the last 7 years can be gleaned from all the fiscal year budgets.

For the Fiscal Years of F/Y 14 to F/Y 20 the total number of arrests in each of the 3 major categories and the sworn police who were employed in all capacities and positions are as follows:

FY/14 Arrests: Felony 9,507, Misdemeanor 27,127, DWI 2,704, #Total Sworn: 913
FY/15 Arrests: Felony 9,049, Misdemeanor 22,639, DWI 2,213, #Total Sworn: 879
FY/16 Arrests: Felony 8,744, Misdemeanor 19,857, DWI 1,720, #Total Sworn: 833
FY/17 Arrests: Felony 9,527, Misdemeanor 18,562, DWI 1,338, #Total Sworn: 870
FY/18 Arrests: Felony 11,257, Misdemeanor 19,923, DWI 1,403, #Total Sworn: 941
FY/19 Arrests: Felony 10,945, Misdemeanor 19,440, DWI 1,788, #Total Sworn: 924
FY/20 Arrests: Felony 6,621, Misdemeanor 16,520, DWI 1,230, #Total Sworn: 1,004

The links to the approved city budgets from 2007 to 2022 that contain the statistics can be found here:

According to APD’s approved 2021-2022 budget, in 2019 APD had 924 full time police. In 2020 APD had 1,004 sworn police or 80 more sworn in 2020 than in 2019, yet arrests went down during the first year of the pandemic and crime rates continued to rise.

As of July 24, 2021, APD has 940 sworn police according to city personnel records, but only 369 are field officers patrolling the streets of the city. The 369 filed service officers are divided into 6 area commands and 3 separate shifts. According to an August 2 KOAT TV news report, APD patrol staffing is as follows:

369 patrol officers, for six area commands and 3 shifts
59 patrol sergeants
18 lieutenants
18 – 22 bike officers


On August 31, 2021, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) released crime stats for the first six months of 2021 with a comparison to the first six months of 2020. APD’s crime statistics released used the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) which APD has now used for the 4th year in a row. NIBRS is the new system the FBI will require of all police departments use in their annual reports starting in 2021.

Prior to the use of NIBRS, APD used the SRS reporting system which had only the 8 general categories of Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter, Forcible Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny-theft, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson


Starting in January 2021, the FBI is requiring crimes to be counted through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). In NIBRS, there are 3 major reporting broad categories.

The 3 major categories are:

CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS include murder, rape, and assault, and are those in which the victims are always individuals.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY include robbery, bribery, and burglary, or to obtain money, property, or some other benefit.
CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY include gambling, prostitution, and drug violations, and represent society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity and are typically victimless crimes.

The 3 major NIBRS categories are broken down into 52 sub-categories. NIBRS counts virtually all crimes committed during an incident. NIMRS is far more sophisticated than the “most serious incident-based” reporting

“In the National Incident-Based Reporting System” (NIBRS), each offense reported is either a Group A or Group B offense type. There are 23 Group A offense categories, comprised of 52 Group A offenses and 10 Group B offense categories. Law enforcement agencies report Group A offenses as part of a NIBRS incident report, but they report only arrest data for Group B offenses.

A link to a complete guide to the NIBRS crime reporting system is here:

The statistics released on August 31, 2021 by APD and reported to the FBI reported the first 6 months of 2021 against previous years. Overall, APD reported 31,438 crimes for the first half of 2021, down from 33,383 in the first half of 2020, a 9% year-over-year decrease. According to the mid-year 2021 statistics released, overall crime dropped 9% from 2020 and 20% since 2018.

Crimes Against Property which includes burglary, forgery, property destruction and breaking and entering, had some of the largest decreases. Property crime dropped 9%, violent crime increased 1% and “crimes against society,” which includes drug, weapon and prostitution offenses, increased by 8%. The increase in crimes against property is attributed to robberies and a huge increase in identity theft offenses which spiked by a whopping 330%, from 376 reports in 2020 to 1,619 for the first six months of this year.

The statistics for “crimes against persons” which includes murder, rape, and assault, reveals that for violent crime, aggravated assault went up 8%, nonnegligent murder went up 122% and there was an 11% increase in the forcible rape category. For the first six months of 2021, drug offenses went down 13% and prostitution offenses went down 60%. However, weapons law violations jumped 80%, from 408 to 734, leading to the highest midyear total since at least 2018. Those increases led to the three categories having their highest midyear totals since at least 2018.

2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 MID YEAR STATISTICS

There are 23 Group A offense categories which are the most serious offenses reported which are then broken down further into the 3 major categories. Following are the mid-year raw numbers for group A crimes in each of the 3 categories for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020:

2018 Mid-Year: 39,079
2019 Mid-Year: 34,652
2020 Mid-Year: 33,358
2021 MID-YEAR: 31,438

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY (Includes robbery, bribery, and burglary) midyear statistics are:

2018 Mid-Year: 29,576
2019 Mid-Year: 25,481
2020 Mid-Year: 24,221
2021 Mid-Year: 22,065

CRIMES AGAINST A PERSON (includes murder, rape, and assault) midyear statistics are:

2018 Mid-Year: 7,634
2019 Mid-Year: 7,383
2020 Mid-Year: 7,464
2021 Mid-Year: 7,532

CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY (includes gambling, prostitution, and drug violations) midyear statistics are:

2018: Mid-Year: 1,869
2019: Mid-Year: 1,788
2020: Mid-Year: 1,698
2021: Mid-Year: 1,841

The links to 2018-2021 Mid-Year Crime Statistics are found here:


The City’s 2022 adopted budget contains APD’s arrests statistics for 2019 and 2020. APD’s budget is a performance-based budget and the department is required to submit a number of statistics to justify its budget. Arrest numbers for felonies, misdemeanors as well as DWI are reported in the budget. APD’s budget also outlines full time personnel and breaks it down between sworn and civilian employees.

The link to the budget is here:

Following is the breakdown of arrest for the years 2019 and 2020:


2019: 10,945
2020: 6,621
DOWN 39.51%


2019: 19,440
2020: 16,520
DOWN 15%


2019: 1,788
2020: 1,230
DOWN 26%

DOWN 25%

2022 APD Budget, page 151:


APD Chief Harold Medina told Tryna Verbeck in part in response to her press conference:

“There is no doubt that morale among officers was impacted by several issues and events over the past year-and-a-half – from the anti-police protests in 2020, to the challenges of the pandemic and the struggles resulting from mandates by the DOJ settlement. … I expressed many of those concerns to the DOJ and the monitors. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction where officers do not feel supported, or that they can do their jobs effectively and safely in all situations. At the same time, we can’t simply move every officer to patrol the streets, as some have suggested. I don’t have the authority to defy a court order.”

Absolutely no one is asking Chief Medina to defy a court order, but it is his department and he has complete management and control over it, the department’s $222 million dollar budget, all of its resources and personnel. Medina has the power to reorganize the department and make appropriate changes and assignment of personnel as he sees fit.

Instead of exercising that authority and managing the department he heads, Medina prefers to lay blame on the lack of personnel and the reforms. Chief Medina has been part of APD’s upper command staff, including being the Deputy Chief of Field Service dealing with personnel assigned to the field since the day Keller was sworn in as Mayor on December 1, 2017. For the past 4 years, Medina knew what was wrong with the staffing and assignment levels and yet did nothing other than to undermine former Chief Michael Geier in order to replace him.

Mayor Tim Keller told Tryna Verbeck in part in his written response to her press conference:

“APD has been under intense pressure to change as a result of the DOJ settlement agreement, the time pressures from ever-changing court rules, and the shortage of officers that persists despite all of our hiring. Officers feel that pressure every day. … We have also expressed our concerns to the DOJ, the court monitors and the federal delegation because we can’t continue to improve if officers do not feel supported. … .”

Mayor Tim Keller knew exactly what he was getting into 4 years ago. Keller was sworn in as Mayor on December 1, 2017 having been elected with a landslide promising to implement the DOJ reforms, increase the size of APD to 1,200, return to community-based policing and reducing our out-of-control violent crime rates. Keller even bragged that he was uniquely qualified to be Mayor and he obviously believed his rhetoric despite not having any law enforcement experience.

On March 15, 2018 newly elected Mayor Tim Keller appeared along with new Senior Public Safety Officer James B. Lewis, new interim Chief Michael Geier and new City Attorney Esteban Aguilar, Jr. before Federal Judge Robert Brack, the first judge assigned to oversee the consent decree. What was revealed for the first time was that Mayor Tim Keller reached out back in Decembe, 2017 and had meetings with the parties and the federal judge. Federal Judge Robert Brack said he was so impressed with the new administration’s commitment to the reform process that he decided to keep the case after he goes on Senior Status in November and not give it to another federal judge. What Keller told Brack in 2018 is that he campaigned on the reform issue, that he owned it and that he will be judged by the progress APD makes or doesn’t make during his term in office.

With their words and conduct, both Mayor Keller and Chief Medina are essentially blaming the pandemic as well as the DOJ consent decree for what is happening to APD. The blunt truth is that it’s their very poor job performance and management of APD over the last 4 years that is the actual cause.


It is painfully obvious that APD has become a mere shell of a once great law enforcement department. The downward spiral began in 2010 with 1,100 sworn police until it hit a low mark in 2017 with 850 sworn police. For the past 4 years, Mayor Tim Keller has attempted to grow the department to 1,200 essentially spinning his wheels and making very little progress with the number of sworn police. As of July 24, 2021 at 940 with a mere 363 sworn officers assigned to the field services to patrol the streets of Albuquerque. Keller has failed with APD and so has his two appointed police Chief’s, former Chief Michael Geier and now Chief Harold Medina.

Both Keller and Medina ostensibly do not know there is a correlation between the number of police, arrests and crime rates. According to a 2018 study entitled “More COPS, Less Crime” by Steven Mello with Princeton University there is a causal effect in police numbers and the reduction on crime rates. The study dealt with the federal grant programs known as COPs for police to finance police officers for communities. The study found that there is a direct correlation between an increase in the number of police and the decline in victimization.

According to the study, large and statistically significant effects of police numbers occur on robbery, larceny, and auto theft, with suggestive evidence that police reduce murders as well. Crime reductions associated with additional police were more pronounced in areas most affected by the Great Recession. The results highlight that fiscal support to local governments for crime prevention may offer large returns, especially during bad macroeconomic times.

The link to the entire study is here:


In an election year, Mayor Tim Keller and his appointed APD Chief Harold Medina have pushed the “peddle to the metal” and are going full throttle with their public relations campaign to convince the general public and the media that what they have done is having a major effect on reducing crime and blaming the pandemic. It has not.

Based on the statistics for the budget years of 2019 and 2020, a very strong argument can be made that crime is up because APD is not doing its job of arresting people because it is so short handed in the field services. It’s an APD personnel resource management issue. This point is made perfectly clear in the statistics that arrests for both felony and misdemeanor offenses are down dramatically:

APD statistics for the budget years of 2019 and 2020 reflect the department is not doing its job of investigating and arresting people no doubt in part for the failure to have sufficient number of police patrolling the streets:

APD felony arrests went down from 2019 to 2020 by 39.51% going down from 10,945 to 6,621. Misdemeanor arrests went down by 15% going down from 19,440 to 16,520.
DWI arrests went down from 1,788 in 2019 to 1,230 in 2020, down 26%. The total number of all arrests went down from 32,173 in 2019 to 24,371 in 2020 or by 25%.
In 2019 APD had 924 full time police. In 2020, APD had 1,004 sworn police or 80 more sworn in 2020 than in 2019, yet arrests went down during the first year of the pandemic.


An option that could increase the number of sworn assigned to field services is to abolish APD’s Internal Affairs Unit and scale down the Compliance Bureau to a third. This would increase the availability of sworn police to patrol the streets. APD has consistently shown over decades it cannot police itself which contributed to the “culture of aggression” found by the Department of Justice. The APD Internal Affairs Unit needs to be abolished and its functions absorbed by other civilian departments.

The investigation of police misconduct cases including excessive use of force cases not resulting in death or serious bodily harm should be done by “civilian” personnel investigators, not sworn police. The External Force Investigation Team (EFIT) would become a part of the civilian oversight unit. The function and responsibility for investigating police misconduct cases and violations of personnel policy and procedures by police should be assumed by the Office of the Inspector General in conjunction with the City Human Resources Department.

The Office of Inspector General could make findings and recommendations to the APD Chief and Police Oversight Board (POB) for implementation and imposition of disciplinary action.


Mayor Keller, Chief Medina and the APD union are now constantly proclaiming that the DOJ consent decree is a major contributor to APD not being able to do its job. The police union falsely proclaims officer’s hands are tied by the DOJ reforms and sworn police are afraid of doing their jobs for fear of being disciplined. All 3 easily forget why the reforms were necessary and now mandated by a court order.

The Court Approved Settlement Agreement was preventable had APD in fact followed constitutional policing practices in the first place. It had nothing to do with “politically correct politicians” throwing APD under the bus as many have said. It was APD that brought the DOJ here in the first place and mandated the Federal Court to come down on it.

Now the Mayor and City Council are mired in dealing with the crisis. APD has the largest budget of all the 27 city departments with an approved 2022 general fund operating budget of upwards of $222 million and funding for 1,100 sworn police, a number it has not had since 2009, and positions it cannot fill. What the city has is an APD personnel management crisis and a failure of Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Harold Medina being unable to do a job with the resources they have, yet all we get is whining from both of them.

But what the hell, we have a Mayor who acts more like a celebrity wearing shorts and t-shirts, attends heavy metal concerts, attends soccer games and who gives pep talks to college football players as he runs around all over the city seeking publicity as he seeks a second term and $60 million in taxpayer funding for a soccer stadium.



As of November 14, 2019, it will be a full 7 years that has expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. The City and APD have completed the following to accomplish the reforms:

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 an 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 Compliance Bureau has been created.

14. The External Force Investigation Team (EFIT) has been created

Afghanistan War Comes To End; Der Führer Republican Shills Sound Alarm; Afghanistan No Vietnam; The High Cost Of War; 5 Take A Ways By One Who Served; Thirst For Freedom Is Unquenchable

April 14, President Joe Biden announced his decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Public opinion polls at the time showed significant public support for Biden’s decision. A Quinnipiac poll in May found 62% of the public supported withdrawal. The Chicago Council Survey conducted a poll from July 7-26 that found 70% supported the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11. A CBS News poll from August 18-20 found 63% approval of the U.S. removing troops from Afghanistan.


Notwithstanding public support for pulling out of Afghanistan, the public has not been so supportive on how it was executed. An NBC News poll showed a low 25% of Americans approve of the way Biden handled the Afghanistan withdrawal. A CBS News poll found that 74% said the removal of the troops had been handled badly by the U.S. 67% said that Biden did not have a clear plan for evacuating American civilians.

An August 13 to 16 Morning Consult/Politico poll showed that 31% of registered voters approve of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, while 57% said at the time of the poll said that the withdrawal was not going well. A USA Today/Suffolk poll shows a 27% approval rating for Biden’s handling of Afghanistan.

President Biden’s overall approval rating also has taken a hit as a result of the way the evacuation was handled. A Gallup Poll taken from August 2 to 17 showed that Biden has a 49% approval rating because of the handling of the withdrawal, the lowest of his administration.

On August 16, President Joe Biden said he made the right call to pull American troops out of Afghanistan but Taliban’s swift seizure of Kabul unfolded faster than he expected. Biden emphasized he was honoring the commitment he made when he ran for president to bring the military involvement to an end. Biden said Afghan officials had assured him Afghan forces would fight the insurgents.

President Biden had this to say:

“I stand squarely behind my decision. … The truth is unfolded more quickly than we had anticipated. … [the withdrawal has been] hard and messy – and yes, far from perfect. … [ Afghanistan President Ashraf] Ghani insisted the Afghan forces would fight, but obviously he was wrong. … American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. … We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future.”

On August 16, the same day Biden made his remarks, President Ashraf Ghani could not flee the country fast enough as the Afghanistan capital of Kabul was being overtaken by Taliban fighters. One report had Ghani stuffing bags and bags of cash in his plane. Ghani and his family fled to the United Arab Emirates where they were welcomed on humanitarian grounds, no doubt to live the remaining years of his life.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg placed the blame squarely on the Afghan national government for the stunning and swift Taliban takeover and said:

“Despite our considerable investment and sacrifice over two decades, the collapse was swift and sudden. There are many lessons to be learned. … Ultimately the Afghan political leadership failed to stand up to the Taliban and achieve the peaceful solution that Afghans desperately wanted.”


Three weeks before the last US troops left the country, the mission for the US military was to evacuate American citizens and at-risk Afghans who helped U.S. troops and were desperate to leave the country. The Taliban takeover took a matter of weeks and not months that had been predicted. According to news reports, more than 122,000 people from Afghanistan were relocated since the end of July, including 5,400 American citizens.

On Thursday, August 31, the Pentagon announced that the last U.S. troops had left Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war. In a briefing General Kenneth F. McKenzie, the head of the U.S. Central Command said:

“Every single U.S. service member is out of Afghanistan; I can say that with absolute certainty.”

McKenzie announced that the last U.S. flight out of Afghanistan left at 3:29 p.m. ET, August 31. . The heads of the State Department and Defense Department teams were among the last to leave: Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson and Major General Chris Donahue. The withdrawal occurred nearly 20 years after the U.S. military first entered Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.


Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Joe Biden for his plan to withdraw from Afghanistan, calling it “one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history.” During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the Kentucky Republican told host Chris Wallace that the decision to leave the country after a nearly 20-year time span was worse than the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, when the city of Saigon fell to communist forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong.

“We’re looking at the exit … our heroic military is doing the best they can with a horrible policy decision. This is one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, much worse than Saigon. … After we left Saigon, there weren’t Vietnamese terrorists who were planning on attacking us here at home. … We leave behind exactly what we went in to solve 20 years ago, and I fear for the future and continuing the war on terror.”

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has this to say:

“This decision will haunt us for decades. We’re less safe as a nation, the likelihood of an attack coming from Afghanistan now is through the roof. Radical Islam just got a shot of steroids. … If you knew you were going to leave, why didn’t you plan for it better?”

When asked about the Trump administration’s 2018 move to free Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Graham said that the previous administration would have some blame to bear. Still Graham defended his Der Führer Trump and said that Trump tendered withdrawal agreement was “condition-based. (Que the vomiting.)

This coming from the 2 most prominent Der Führer Republican Senator’s who refused to hold Der Führer Trump responsible for instigating and promoting the January 6 invasion of the United States Capitol by Der Führer terrorists that forced both of them to flee the Senate Chambers to protect their own skins from an angry mob of Trump supporters.


On August 16, 2021, Forbes Magazine published an article written by Forbes staff writers Christopher Helman and Hank Tucker entitled “The war in Afghanistan cost $300 Million Per Day For 20 years, with big bills yet to come”. Forbes reported:

“In the 20 years since September 11, 2001, the United States has spent more than $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan. That’s $300 million dollars per day, every day, for two decades. Or $50,000 for each of Afghanistan’s 40 million people. In baser terms, Uncle Sam has spent more keeping the Taliban at bay than the total net worth of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and the 30 richest billionaires in America, combined.

Those headline numbers include $800 billion in direct war-fighting costs and $85 billion to train the vanquished Afghan army, which folded [like a cheap suit] in the weeks since the Pentagon’s sudden early July closure of Bagram Air Force Base eliminated the promise of air support against the advancing Taliban. U.S. taxpayers have been giving Afghan soldiers $750 million a year in payroll. All told, Brown University’s Costs of War Project estimates the total spending at $2.26 trillion.

And the costs are even greater in terms of lives lost. There have been 2,500 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, and nearly 4,000 more U.S. civilian contractors killed. That pales beside the estimated 69,000 Afghan military police, 47,000 civilians killed, plus 51,000 dead opposition fighters. The cost so far to care for 20,000 U.S. casualties has been $300 billion, with another half-trillion or so expected to come.”

On August 16, 2021, the Associated Press (AP) reported the following sobering loss of life for the 20 years of the Afghanistan War:

Roughly 1 out of every 4 Americans have been born since the 2001 attacks plotted by al-Qaida leaders who were sheltered in Afghanistan
2,448 American service members were killed in Afghanistan through April.

More than 20,000 US soldiers have been injured according to an Aug 16, 2021 BBC report. (
66,000 Afghan national military and police were killed
51,191 Taliban and other opposition fighters killed
47,245 Afghan civilians killed
3,846 U.S. contractors killed
1,144 other allied service members, including from other NATO member states killed
444 aid workers killed
72 journalists killed

The link to the Associated Press Report is here:


The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University reported that as of July, 2021, over 30,177 U.S. service members and veterans of the post-9/11 wars have died by suicide. Further, coalition partners have died in large numbers with approximately 177,000 uniformed Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and Syrian allies have died as of November 2019.

The link to the Brown University report is here:


Retired Admiral James Stavridis was the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and is an Operating Executive at The Carlyle Group. He is a TIME Contributing Editor. On August 16, Time published a lengthy column by Stavridis where he reported his very deep and personal involvement in the war from the very beginning when he was working at the Pentagon when it was attack on 9/11. The following excerpts from the article outline the 5 major take a ways he reported on:

“In some ways, every war is a tragic waste of time, treasure and, most importantly, blood. But I believe that the troops who fought in Afghanistan can hold their heads up with pride in one crucial way: we were sent to Afghanistan to find and bring to justice the 9/11 attackers, and—more importantly—to prevent another attack on the U.S. homeland emanating from that ungoverned space. For twenty years, we did that. … The financial and human costs of U.S. involvement were immense and will be felt for decades both economically with the U.S. debt and in terms of long-term medical care for wounded veterans.
… .
Main battle tanks and motorized howitzers, fifth generation fighter jets, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, offensive cyberattack programs, and anti-aircraft missile batteries were of limited use in Afghanistan. Instead, we needed heavily armored but light vehicles that could move fast on the dusty roads and survive an encounter with an improvised explosive device. …. At the start, we needed, [but did not have at first] armored Humvees, alongside more nimble special forces, explosive ordnance disposal technicians, counter-insurgency experts, translators, and central Asian historians. The venerable A-10 “warthog,” a troops-in-the-field support aircraft that flew low suddenly counted for more than a glamorous F/A-18 Hornet. In short, the services had to reinvent, reorient, and rethink every aspect of combat.
… .
…[F]rom the earliest moment, it was clear we would need to train a substantial Afghan army and police force if we were ever going to succeed in Afghanistan. That effort began early, even as we gradually increased the number of U.S. troops in country. The U.S. forces put enormous effort into the training, sending top generals like Dave Petraeus and Marty Dempsey, a future Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, as 3-star officers to helm that effort. Eventually well over a million young Afghans would pass through U.S. and allied training programs, which included literacy training). We succeeded in bolstering the technical proficiency of Afghan forces but at times fell short in our efforts to root out corruption among some sectors and were unable to adequately communicate our vision of a peaceful and prosperous future for the country. … We underestimated the degree to which the Taliban were able to infiltrate the ranks, eventually leading to “green on blue” attacks by Afghans on their trainers. And so many of the Afghans would go through training for a time, take the salaries while doing so, and simply disappear back to their villages.
… .
Another part of the learning curve was discovering how best to fight with allies in the field. The rest of NATO, acting for the first and only time in its history under the auspices of its Article V [that states] “an attack on one is an attack on all, came with us into Afghanistan. The frustrations of coalition warfare are immense, from poor communications interconnectivity to caveats placed on forces (ie: nation X will not conduct operations at night). Despite all the disconnects, however, we learned over time that Sir Winston Churchill was right when he said the only thing more frustrating that fighting alongside allies is fighting without allies.
… .
Central was the U.S. military leadership in the fight. The on-the-ground leaders in Afghanistan, mostly Army and Marine Corps, were overwhelmingly brave, thoughtful, and competent. But as we learned over the long years, we simply rotated them too frequently. … We made the same mistake in Vietnam, where everyone was on a one-year tour, and the outcome was a disaster. This was reflected up-and-down the chain of command, and the lack of continuity and sense of “I’ve just got to make it to my departure date” hindered strategic coherency badly.
… .
Finally, we need to acknowledge the tenacity, innovation, resilience, and relentless tactics of the Taliban. In any war, as the saying goes, the enemy gets a vote. The Taliban used all the attributes of successful insurgencies: terrorizing the civilian population, attacks on critical infrastructure, undermining the economy, harassing raids on larger forces, infiltration of Afghan units, and simply outlasting the patience of the U.S.”

The link to the full article


Dramatic footage of people being evacuated from Kobul airport resulted in a number of tragic images of people running along the sides of cargo planes airlifting people out. People were seen desperately clinging to the departing planes and later fell to their deaths. Some reports said the images were reminiscent of the helicopter airlifts from rooftops out of the city of Saigon when Viet Nam fell to the Viet Cong. It was on April 29 and 30 1975, during the last days of the Vietnam War where more than 7,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from various points in Saigon, including the U.S. Embassy. The caparison of both war withdrawals as being the same is tragic and insults those who served in the wars and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The Vietnam War was about a communism versus capitalism conflict and little more than that. The mantra for fighting it at the time was that if Vietnam fell to communism, there would be a “domino effect” and the entire region and surrounding countries would become communist. It happened anyway. The Vietnam war began in 1954 and involved the 3 countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After two decades in 1975, all 3 countries had communist rule.

Iraq borders Iran and Iran borders Afghanistan. All three are overwhelmingly Muslim countries and for years have been hot beds of middle east conflicts.


Iraq’s Muslim population is split into two distinct sects, Shia and Sunni but it is governed by a Prime Minister who holds most of the executive authority and appointed the Council of Ministers, which acts as a cabinet and government. It was from March 20, 2003 to May 1, 2003, the United State with a coalition of 35 countries invaded Iraq to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.” Republican President George Bush and his “Dick” Cheney lied and there were no weapons of mass destruction ever found. Saddam Heusen was removed from power and killed by his own people after he was found hiding in a “spider hole”.


Iran is a unitary Islamic “theocratic republic”. In 1979 the Iranian Revolution occurred overthrowing the pro west Shah of Iran. Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power as the supreme leader turning Iran from a pro-West monarchy to a vehemently anti-West Islamic theocracy. During his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush describes Iran as part of an “axis of evil,” along with Iraq and North Korea. He said Iran “aggressively pursues [weapons of mass destruction] and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.” Tensions escalated as Iran pursued a nuclear weapons program. On July 14, 2015, Iran and the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus German signed a nuclear agreement, providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran taking a series of steps, including dismantling and redesigning its nuclear reactor. It was on May 8, 2018, Der Führer and then President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement and mount a sanctions campaign to place “maximum pressure” on Iran to pressure it from continuing to develop a nuclear weapon. Many arms control experts and European allies condemn the move, while many Republican lawmakers, Israel, and Saudi Arabia applauded it.


In Afghanistan, the Taliban are made up of former Afghan resistance fighters, known collectively as mujahedeen, who fought the invading Soviet forces in the 1980s. They aimed to impose their interpretation of Islamic law on the country and remove any and all foreign influence and govern by strict “Shia Law” that suppresses freedoms, woman’s rights and opposes democracy. The war in Afghanistan owes its origin to control spread of terrorism across the world and the country in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks with the enemy in Afghanistan being the Taliban and Al Qaeda and the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Unlike Vietnam, the Afghanistan war had support of countries worldwide after terrorists killed 2,977 on September 11, 2001.


The United States was in Viet Nam for 11 years while in Afghanistan 20 years. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served. In Afghanistan 2,448 American service members were killed.

In Vietnam, the percentages that died is similar to other wars but amputations or crippling wounds were 300% higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled, including being totally disabled as a result of post traumatic stress disorder with the term replacing the “shell shock” diagnosis of World War II. United States and allied military deaths in Viet Nam were staggering 282,000.

According to the US Congressional Research Service, United States war spending, in 2019 US dollar term, was $843.63 billion in the Vietnam War. The country was directly engaged in the war for 11 years that saw 58,220 US military deaths. The economic cost went as high as 2.3% of GDP in 1968. The Afghanistan war has cost more than the Vietnam War or $910.47 billion in 2019 US dollar value while the total United States investment in Afghanistan may be around $2 to $3 trillion dollars depending on different estimates.


The Biden Administration’s handling of bringing America’s end to the Afghanistan War is being widely criticized by Der Führer Trump Republicans primarily because of the swift Taliban takeover and the United States not keeping a contingency in Afghanistan to deal with terrorists. The hypocrisy of the criticism of Biden from Der Führer Republicans has no bounds given that Der Führer Trump himself announced the withdrawal. The fact that every foreign policy decision Der Führer Trump made turned to excrement insured that under Trump the withdrawal would of likely been American Troops surrendering to the Taliban or even perhaps Putin to give them refuge in Russia.

Notwithstanding how the withdrawal was handled, the decision by President Biden to exit Afghanistan was the right decision with a withdrawal long overdue. To be blunt, anyone who says the United States lost and “cut and run” from Afghanistan is full of bullshit. More was accomplished in Afghanistan then ever was accomplished in Viet Nam.

The war in Afghanistan began with high hopes of ending terror in the world after the September 11 terror attacks in the US. The United States military did in fact accomplish its original mission of dealing with terrorism in Afghanistan. The United States served justice on those who were responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States, especially with the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. It was after Bin Laden’s killing that the United States should have announced victory and gotten out immediately. Instead, the United State stayed another 10 years with the obvious goal of “nation building” which has never worked for the United States as evidence by Iran when in 1952 the U.S. was instrumental in the overthrow of the Iran government and replacing it with the Sha of Iran who was prop upped for 20 years until the 1979 Iranian Revolution.


Critics such as Der Führer Republicans McConnell and Graham are saying the decision by President Biden to withdraw from Afghanistan will make the world a far more dangerous place now and that Afghanistan may again become a safe haven for terror groups like it was in 2001. The argument is being made that we cannot deny the possibility that Taliban may soon again be a base for Al Qaeda and ISIS, and terror groups operating globally. Global terrorist already exists as proof in the capitol cities such as Paris and London.

What is ignored by the critics is that after 20 years of United State presence, a whole new generation of Afghans and Americans have been born. The people of Afghanistan are better educated, the economy was much better and its people experienced freedom like they had never had before. The Afghan people have changed over the last 20, the Taliban have not. Enlightenment and education has a tendency to crush ignorance.

As noted above, roughly one out of every four Americans have been born since the 2001 attacks plotted by al-Qaida leaders who were sheltering in Afghanistan. As far as the United States is concerned, its military and intelligence agencies have also change dramatically over the last 20 years. The US military is still by far the most sophisticated and powerful military in the world that is constantly evolving with technology. The number of casualties of American soldiers was no doubt reduced because of the use of drones, stealth bombers, cruise missles and other sophisticated arms that have pin point precision. The United States home land Security and intelligence gathering network has also likewise changed dramatically as evidence that 20 years have now passed since 9-11 without another similar terrorist attack.

The truth has always been that the United States cannot police the world and stop terrorism nor protect it from all terrorism. Afghanistan is proof once again that Nation building does not work. At this point all the United States can do is play “whack a mole” with terrorists and do so relying on our intelligence community and our special forces in the military such as those who took out Osama bin Laden.


One thing for certain is that the Taliban and ISIS are akin to terminal cancer. The United States did everything it could to cut out the disease and was successful for a period of 20 years in getting it into remission. The people of Afghanistan lived in peace and security and prospered for 20 years because of the United States.

Just like the overwhelming majority of deadly cancers, the Taliban went into remission and has now returned with a vengeance. The 300,000-strong Afghan army trained and funded by the United States disintegrated in a matter of weeks not months. The Afghan army virtually surrender to the Taliban without any resistance laying down their arms. Simply put, Afghanistan is a country whose people did not want to defend themselves and their freedoms from oppression and religious rule.

It is now being reported that Afghan women activists are staging protests in Taliban-controlled Kabul calling for equal rights and full participation in political life. In spite of the risk, a group called the Women’s Political Participation Network marched on the street in front of Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry, chanting slogans and holding signs demanding involvement in the Afghan government and calling for constitutional law. The Taliban have already said that no woman will be allowed and hold positions of power within the government

Taliban leaders insist publicly that women will play a prominent role in society and have access to education. But the group’s public statements about adhering to their interpretation of Islamic values have stoked fears that there will be a return to the harsh policies of Taliban rule two decades ago, when women all but disappeared from public life.

Afghanistan may be back in control of the Taliban, but one thing for certain is that its people, especially its woman, are now realizing what freedoms they have lost with the departure of the United States. The unquenchable thirst and desire for freedom and independence will now last far more than the 20 years the United States was in the country. The Taliban will one day have another reckoning. When that happens, that reckoning will be delivered by the Afghan people. If there is justice in the world, that reckoning will be delivered by the woman of Afghanistan and not a foreign county.

After a full 20 years, withdrawing from Afghanistan was long overdue and President Biden will be remembered for bringing an end to the longest and costliest war in its history. No matter how messy it was, that will soon be forgotten and it was not as bad as it could have been with Der Führer Trump.



One of best articles written on the withdrawal was published on August 26, on line by the Washington Post. The column was written by Gene Robinson is an American newspaper columnist and was with the Chicago Tribune for a number of yeara. He is an associate editor of The Washington Post. His columns are syndicated to 262 newspapers. Robinson won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Robinson also serves as NBC News and MSNBC’s chief political analyst and appears frequently on Meet the Press.


“Certainly not like this” is not a valid answer, however tragic Thursday’s attacks near the Kabul airport prove to be. Please be specific. Did you envision a formal ceremony at the U.S. Embassy with the American flag being lowered and the Taliban flag raised? Did you see the Taliban waiting patiently while the U.S.-trained Afghan army escorted U.S. citizens, other NATO nationals and our Afghan collaborators to the airport for evacuation? Did you imagine that the country’s branch of the Islamic State would watch peacefully from the sidelines, or that regional warlords would renounce any hope of regaining their power, or that a nation with a centuries-old tradition of rejecting central authority would suddenly embrace it?”


“This is not an apologia for the tragic and chaotic scenes that have been unfolding in Kabul. Rather, it is a reality check. If there is a graceful, orderly way to abandon involvement in a brutal, unresolved civil war on the other side of the world, please cite historical precedents. I can’t find them.

One legitimate answer to this question is our involvement shouldn’t have ended: that the United States should have kept several thousand troops in Afghanistan. Like President Joe Biden, and like Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump before him, I disagree with that view. But I do see some logic in the position that maintaining the status quo — basically, propping up the Afghan government we installed — would have been better than the Taliban takeover we’ve just witnessed.”


“The problem is that this “forever war” truly would have had to continue forever. We were never going to outlast the Taliban because — and this is an important point — its members live there and want to govern the country. Afghanistan is their country, not ours. The nation’s fate was never going to matter more to us than it does to them, however repulsive we may find their vision for it. Nor was Afghanistan ever going to matter more to us than it does to the military establishment in neighboring Pakistan, which sees its support of the Taliban as a strategic imperative. Sooner or later, we were going to come home.

And if we were going to leave eventually, what would have been different if we had waited another year, or another five, or another 10? We’d have spent a lot more money and sacrificed more American lives, but Afghanistan would still be Afghanistan.

The rapid disintegration of the 300,000-strong Afghan army showed how little we really understood about the country, even after 20 years. U.S. officials thought government forces could hold out against the Taliban at least for months, perhaps as long as a year. Instead, the military and police we sponsored, equipped and trained surrendered much of the country without even putting up a fight.

Should we have begun airlifting Afghan translators and others who helped the allied effort out of the country earlier, perhaps using the now-abandoned air base at Bagram as the departure gate? Maybe so, but such an evacuation might have created a panic — “The Americans are leaving!” — and a target both of the Taliban and ISIS. However we tried to leave, I believe, things were going to be bad.”


“The administration began warning Americans to leave the country months ago. Of the roughly 6,000 who ignored those warnings and remained, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, some 4,500 have been evacuated and plans were being made to extract another 500. That leaves an estimated 1,000 American citizens believed to still be in the country — and Blinken has said it is not clear whether all those people are actually citizens or that all of them wish to leave.

Meanwhile, we have already evacuated more than 100,000 Afghans who feared for their lives under Taliban rule, a truly remarkable logistical achievement under daunting circumstances. We owe a great debt to these people and we should continue the airlift as long as we can. But that won’t be forever, as conditions deteriorate — witness the deadly bombings on Thursday outside Hamid Karzai International Airport — and not everyone who desperately wants to get out will be able to do so. That is tragic. But it would be true, I believe, whenever and however the U.S. mission ended.

The images [we saw] … from Kabul [were] shocking, heartbreaking and embarrassing. But the real stain on our national honor was in making promises to Afghans that we never had the intention or even the ability to keep. Twenty years of U.S. blood and treasure gave Afghanistan not a secular democracy but its flickering illusion. And history will see this withdrawal, painful as it is to watch, not as ignominious but as inevitable.”

The link to the column is here:

Labor Day Guest Column by Rudolfo Carrillo: “Something To Be: A Labor Day Reminiscence”

Rudolfo Carrillo is a native New Mexican and was the news and music editor at Weekly Alibi from August 2015 until March 2020, where he used the pen name “August March” to write about Albuquerque culture, history and politics. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico’s fine arts program. His award-winning writing and analysis have been featured at international academic conferences, in notable literary journals as well as in local media outlets like the Albuquerque Journal. His latest work can be read at Infinity Report with the link here:


This Labor Day guest opinion was written by Rudolfo Carrillo and submitted for publication on this blog. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Rudolfo Carrillo and do not necessarily reflect those of the political blog Rudolfo Carrillo was not compensated for the guest column.


I’ve always viewed myself as vaguely Mexican-American, a member of the working class; I’ve got the name going on, after all—though I’m named for my Pops, who was named Rudolfo for Valentino, who died two weeks before his birth.

The family that birthed the original version of Rudolfo Carrillo has been hanging around this part of the Earth for at least 400 years. When you add my mother’s story—including the birth and normative human ascent of three children cursed with unusually fierce intelligence and fortitude—the tale of where I came from stretches back millennia but remains centered on the land that stretches between Chihuahua City and Albuquerque, between the Rio Grande and the Pacific Ocean.

Anyway, with starry credentials like those, one must come to the natural conclusion that I’ve had a great and easy time dealing with the status quo and its representatives in a state that is—at last glance—nearly 50 percent Hispanic.

Larry, Frankie, Dasha & Rudolfo

Interestingly, though, that isn’t the case. Although incidents of discrimination and racial injustice were part of everyday life for me growing up on the border of the Navajo Nation, I simply never got used to seeing people of color being treated poorly, abused and even killed. I was there when Larry Casuse fought for all our rights and died.

By all accounts, Casuse’s death could have been prevented if not for the outright capitalist greed of Gallup, New Mexico’s local bar and liquor industry. A prime mover of that literally ongoing, poisonous enterprise was Emmett “Frankie” Garcia, the mayor of Gallup. Disclosure: My father worked in Garcia’s administration as director of a federally funded Urban Renewal and Relocation program.

Garcia had a profitable stake in one of the city’s most notorious watering holes and was also a contender for a seat on UNM’s Board of Regents when undergraduate and Kiva Club President Larry Casuse kidnapped him from his office in Gallup before duck-walking him over to the local Downtown sporting goods store in March of 1973. By the end of the day, Garcia had escaped and Casuse lay dead of a gunshot wound in the back of the store as FBI agents pored over the scene.

“The Life and Death of Larry Casuse, 40 Years Later”, by David Correia in La Jicarita, An Online Magazine of Environmental Politics in New Mexico, March 15, 2013.

I was in the third grade back then, attending Roosevelt Elementary School in Gallup, which is just up the hill from Downtown. One of my close friends was Dasha Casuse, Larry’s little sister. Other than Dasha, my twin brother Albino, a Chinese-American lad named Howard, and a Mormon girl named Kim, everyone at the school treated the Diné kids like hell; the teachers either ignored them or were openly hostile to them.

By the time we left Gallup for Albuquerque three years later, Larry’s sister Dasha had also died; the effects of institutional racism and neglect seemed to have little respect for life, even young life, in that place.


As a child who was used to the various desert environments where his parents dwelt and worked, I was always filled with wonder when we visited Albuquerque. The bright swath of bosque running through the middle of the city when approached via freeway added to the feeling that here was where life and civilization began.

So filled up with the verdant glory of summers here was I, that I also imagined that this would be a place where there was no racism, no neglect, no shame in being a person of color or an outsider of any sort—how could any of that not be so when the forest that ran through the middle of town seemed to speak deeply of belonging, of rest?

The plain truth, though, is that such bleary optimism got me absolutely nowhere in terms of figuring out how deeply embedded the patriarchy and racism are in the common institutions that arise from public education and private business in this town. My first exposure to that sort of ruling nonsense came via a 6-year engagement with Albuquerque Public Schools—at some of the best schools the organization had to offer in the Northeast Heights.

During the first week of seventh grade at Eisenhower Middle School, my main teacher asked everybody to bring something from home for show and tell, as a way of getting to know about her new students’ backgrounds.

That was easy enough, I thought. My old man had just replaced his prized slide rule with a Casio multi-function calculator that a friend of his at General Dynamics had given him as an early birthday present.

I brought the calculator in and started to show the class how to do basic math functions. When I mentioned that it also did something called “trigonometric functions”, the teacher literally shouted me down and dragged me out into the hall. She couldn’t believe that I possessed such a device, much less that I knew how to use it. She demanded that I end the presentation, and outraged, she asked me to hand over the calculator and sent me to the main office for counseling. And she didn’t believe it was my father’s calculator either. As I walked away, she asked me if I had stolen the device. My face turned red, but I ignored her.

Later that week, after meeting with my parents, she gave me a C-minus on the project. When I asked her why, she said, “Because you have no idea what trigonometry is, and besides, you never smile; all my successful students smile.”


For some reason, small business seems to be a perfect breeding ground for institutional and systematic racism in Albuquerque. In small, top-down management environments, inherently racist and misogynist worker-hostile policies can thrive while hyper-capitalism drives ethical decisions.

These sorts of practices, by the way, are not anomalous; in fact they are and have often been practiced by students of various business schools (including UNM’s Anderson School of Management) at state universities in the 1980s and ’90s. This same sort of messianic, lone wolf, pirate capitalism has long been the weapon of choice among certain cultural leaders like that one dude, Donald Trump.

Here’s how I saw such practices manifest in our town. This has been my experience as a middle-aged Chicano man.


One time in the late-1990s, I applied for a position at a local software development firm. They specialized in legal software and had just begun to market a breakthrough product from here in Albuquerque.

This up-and-coming small business was owned and operated by a local visionary who was treated as a larger-than-life figure by those in his employ. At a recruiting meeting, I noted that his presence was everywhere; a cult of personality had somehow arisen in his wake. When I asked an employee what that all meant, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “he gives us as many free candy bars as we can eat.”

Anyway, as they were processed, each applicant had a Polaroid photo taken of them, on which their name was written. They were then told to keep their back to interviewers and recruiters down the line. At some point, an unknown person removed my photo from my back, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Did you know that this software is in English?” It’s okay, you can still stay for so and so’s presentation; they’re illuminating, even if you have trouble understanding the words.”

I recall that I stayed behind just so I could repeatedly interrupt the speechifying of the head dude, their leader and messiah. When he got tired of my interjections about workers’ rights, I stood up and left through a back exit. On the way out, I walked past a storage room that was filled to capacity with boxes of candy bars.

“One-on-One with Bill Bice”, by Jessica Dyer in The Albuquerque Journal, January 25, 2016.”


More recently, my presumptions about equality were challenged when I suggested to certain employers that the actions of one of their subordinates could well be a result of an accepted level of institutional racism in the workplace.

This actually happened twice in recent memory. Both instances, in retrospect, were credible. At one job, about six years ago, I was called into the director’s office where I was bluntly told:

“How dare you pull the race card on us, buddy?! You know that no one in this building is a racist. If this happens again, you’ll be subject to termination.”

A few weeks later, I was indeed terminated for saying “negative things” in front of the other staff. Later that spring, the man who signed my termination papers was also summarily replaced, ironically.

A couple years ago, I objected when one of my supervisors said that I talked too much and was too verbose. Stop using such big words, they told me, they don’t fit you. When I complained that such descriptions were not only hurtful, but supported a stereotype that Hispanics were not easily capable of grasping deeper meanings, much less expressing them, the incident escalated.

My boss really wanted to know, he asked me in a meeting later that week, if the thing called institutional racism really existed, if in fact the term “white privilege” was just something I was making up to cause trouble and foment dissent between labor and management. Luckily, the pandemic came and saved me from that storm of privilege and intellectual neglect.


This past summer, I applied for a job at the City of Albuquerque. The process required an interview onsite, at the Albuquerque Sunport. On the day of the interview, much of the place was still closed. I didn’t know this at the time (dumb Mexican, I guess) and arrived early, hoping to get a bite to eat at one of the facility’s luxurious restaurants.

I guess it was obvious that I wasn’t there to catch a flight or retrieve an incoming passenger because, within a few minutes, I had been profiled by the local security team and at least one uniformed individual was not so surreptitiously following me around as I browsed the model airplanes and began to look for a place to take a leak.

This individual followed me into restroom and then out again as I headed for the aviation office. A few minutes later, after I was seated, another uniformed individual stuck his head through the office door, looked around and waved to the receptionist.

I tried to ignore that, but it weighed heavily on my mind as I was interviewed by two very young and inexperienced managers as well as a much older bureaucrat from some financial department or the other. All of them were white. The only other Hispanics I met at the facility were the overly friendly receptionist and a humble janitor.

Anyway, at one point, I told some true tale from my professional past. Completely verifiable stuff. Afterward, the main interviewer looked at me, incredulously raised his eyebrows and said in a contrived tone, “Wow, that’s an amazing story!” He then rolled his eyes. I looked over at his assistant, who was writing something in their notes and apparently, stifling a laugh.


Now like all good cynics who came before me, I am not going to completely certify the above-described events as ultimately or definitively racist. I think a lot of times such situations develop because of ignorance and insecurity on the part of members of the status quo. For instance, it’s a safe bet that those kids at CABQ were intimidated—frightened that I might know more about how to do what they are doing than they did, et cetera.

Living life in the full glory of the spectacle has its consequences. Constant fear of replacement is one of them. Further, in the carceral state, authorities are trained to fear and question the motives of anyone who fits a certain profile.

It’s clear that such misdirected and unfortunate actions create more distance between those who wield power and privilege and those who remain relegated to the sidelines, whether they choose to reside there or not. This has negative repercussions for society as a whole.

As underrepresented outsiders are denied access to the same language and opportunities as their more-privileged fellows, a rift is sure to grow. Using compassion to bridge that gap is possible, but as it grows wider, so does the ability for love to make a difference wane under the weight of disappointment and fear.

It is clear that such exclusionary behavior is much more commonplace in educational settings and the workplace than many of my white friends, colleagues or associates care to believe or even consider. And changing such deeply entrenched behavior and attitudes (including an overriding reverence for business owners, youth, capitalism and even the so-called normative) requires peacefully complicated measures be taken.

Of course it begins with education. Children need to be taught early to believe and understand that we are all the same—that, indeed, we are one organism. Further, since we are all basically the same thing, we should kindly treat one another as brothers and sisters. Next, a sense of community must supplant a sense of competition. Further, service to the community, not personal ambition, should be a key factor in developing meritocracy in the workplace and in schools, too.

All this needs to be done with rigorous attention on developing the critical thinking faculties of the human mind. By the time an American graduates from high school, they should be well-versed in math, civics, ethics, science, literature, the media, and basic/practical economics. Then they should spend at least one summer of service in a developing nation or region of America (like the Rez, for instance).

Sustained efforts like these may signal the beginning of the end of a perpetually cruel cycle of institutional racism, white supremacy and white privilege that continue to haunt and hurt American culture while also disrupting the equality of educational and professional business processes here in Albuquerque and throughout the state of New Mexico.

The cool gray overalls (in a multitude of sizes), massive redistribution of wealth, shouts of “Hasta la victoria” and little red iPads can wait. First, we all need to agree that I am not who you think I am.

“White Supremacy, With a Tan”, by John Blake, from CNN, September 4, 2021.

Der Führer ABQ Mayor Candidates Gonzales And Aragon Play Defense In Court; Ethically Challenged Keller Gives Pep Talks To UNM Football Team And Throws A Few Passes; City Clerk Denies Public Finance A Second Time Day After Hearing

The race for Albuquerque Mayor is heating up big time, but not in debates nor before neighborhood associations but in litigation and courtrooms while Mayor Keller gives pep talks to UNM football players.


On September 1, Bernalillo County Sheriff and candidate for Mayor Manny Gonzales filed a “Petition For Writ of Superintending Control” with the New Mexico Supreme Court asking it to intervene in his case over the denial in public campaign financing of $661,000 by City Clerk Ethan Watson. Named as parties are City Clerk Ethan Watson, who refused to certify Gonzales on July 9 for public finance funding, and 1st Judicial District Judge Bryan Biedscheid, who ruled that Watson had denied Gonzales due process of law. Biedscheid remanded the case back to Watson for a hearing and to make specific findings. The petition asks the Supreme Court to order Watson to give Gonzales the public finance funding without any further delay or hearings.

When Judge Biedscheid remanded the case back to City Clerk Watson, he ruled that the city clerk still had the power to deny Gonzales the public financing on the grounds Gonzales broke the rules but ruled that Watson could only do so after Gonzales was given a chance to answer the claims. If Watson decided not to have a hearing Judge Biedscheid ordered Watson to release the public finance money to Gonzales.

The petition filed asks the Supreme Court to order District Court Judge Biedscheid to reverse Watson’s decision “for real this time” and order either District Judge Bryan Biedscheid or City Clerk Watson to certify Gonzales for the public financing. It asks the court to hear oral arguments in the case.

The petition for “writ of superintending control” alleges the Gonzalez repeated campaign allegations that City Clerk Watson is an appointee of incumbent Mayor Tim Keller, that his continued employment as city clerk is tied to Keller’s successful reelection and therefore Watson cannot be neutral when making consequential decisions about Gonzales’ campaign.

The petition alleges in part:

“A reversal of the Clerk’s decision does not by a long shot assure Sheriff Gonzales’s victory come November, but merely a fair race, in which the thumb of the incumbent-candidate’s government is only allowed to press moderately on the scale. ”


On Wednesday, August 1, City Clerk Watson held a hearing at city hall in an attempt to satisfy Biedscheid’s order and to attempt to give Gonzales “due process” and allow Gonzales to refute the allegations of fraud in the gathering of qualifying $5 donations. Two ethics complaints filed by Keller’s election campaign against the Gonzales Campaign alleged that Gonzales campaign submitted fraudulent and forged material while attempting to qualify for public financing.

The Gonzales campaign has acknowledged some likely forgery, but have argued that more than enough legitimate nominating signatures and qualifying donations have been submitted. Despite the fact the City Clerk Watson certified that Gonzales did in fact submit the required number of qualifying donations, he declined to certify Gonzales for the public financing.

During the City Clerk’s hearing, Kevin Morrow, the city’s acting deputy city attorney went through the allegations against Manny Gonzales and stated:

“Your campaign admitted that many of the qualifying contributions receipts identified by the Holguin-2 complaint were signed by someone other than the voter. You, through counsel, admitted to a pattern of forgery and stated, ‘it does indeed appear that those QCs were forged.”

Attorney Daniel Gallegos, Gonzales’ attorney did not directly address the allegations of forgery or fraud. Instead, he repeatedly hammered home the allegation that Watson is biased and pointed out that regardless of what the campaign did or did not do, the clerk’s hearing was unfair because the city clerk was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller and Gallegos had this to say:

“The city clerk, Ethan Watson, is far from a fair, neutral or impartial decision maker in this case. … He has a stake in the outcome in this case. He was appointed by and answers to incumbent Tim Keller, Sheriff Gonzales’ opponent. And the clerk’s term in office coincides and terminates with the term of Mayor Keller. Bottom line, if the mayor loses this election, the city clerk is out of a job.”

In a separate matter, a city Inspector General’s Office investigation found discrepancies with documentation submitted by Gonzales. Based on those findings, the city’s Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices found Gonzales had violated the city’s Open and Ethical Elections Code and fined him $500. During the August 1 hearing, City Clerk Watson proceeded to rely on those finding as he considers his decision to deny public financing for a second time. Attorney Daniel Gallegos, one of Gonzales’ attorneys, challenged Watson’s use of the Board of Ethics ruling and fine, noting that Keller is also facing an ethics complaint.

Attorney Gallegos also argued that public financing challenge has handicapped the Mayor’s race to the point it may not even be a fair race regardless of the clerk’s decision in that Gonzales has had no way to bring any money into his campaign for nearly two months. Further, the Gonzales campaign is spending a fortune on legal expenses, when those limited funds could be paying for TV ads or mailers or other ways to help voters learn more about Gonzales’ platform.

Links to quoted news source materials are here:


On August 2, for a second time, Albuquerque City Clerk Ethan Watson denied the Manny Gonzales campaign access to public financing of $661,000. City Attorney Esteban Aguilar Jr. released the following statement:

“Today, the City Clerk performed his duty in refusing to turn over more than $650,000 in taxpayer dollars to the Gonzales campaign. Earlier this week, the District Court affirmed the essential role that the clerk plays in certifying candidates for public finance dollars, and the Clerk’s decision was made after two separate entities and an independent investigation found evidence that Gonzales violated the City’s election rules. Despite being given an additional hearing to address the violations and present evidence in his defense, Gonzales instead chose not to participate in the proceeding. It is unfortunate that Gonzales continues to lodge politically motivated attacks on public officials to undermine democratic processes.”

Gonzales’ legal team has already filed an appeal to overturn the decision.

Links to quoted news source materials are here:


On September 1, a complaint was filed in 2nd Judicial District Court seeking to kick off Albuquerque mayoral candidate Eddy Aragon from the ballot The petition alleges that he improperly listed a commercial address as his home residence. The complaint was filed by Albuquerque city resident and registered voter Esther Rivera against Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover and Eddy Aragon.

According to the complaint filed, Aragon violated the law by listing a building in a commercially zoned area on both his voter registration and candidate forms for Mayor. The petition alleges the building is in an area zoned “NR-BP”, which stands for “nonresidential/business park”, which allows office and commercial uses only and not residential use. The petition alleges that under state law, county clerks are required to reject voter registration forms containing a commercial mailbox as the physical address The complaint asks the court to order Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover to disqualify Aragon and remove his name from the ballot. The petition was also sent to Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover asking her to disqualify Eddy Aragon as a candidate.

The link to the complaint is here:

Private Attorney Tom Grover, who filed the complaint on behalf of his client Esther Rivera had this to say:

“[My client’s] concerned that the integrity of the election had been tampered with. [Aragon’s office] is not a building that is zoned for residential occupancy. … It’s an office building. It’s in a business park. It’s primarily occupied by other contractors for the Air Force and the airport and it’s clearly not a residential building. So on that basis, he should be disqualified as a candidate. … Under those facts, it doesn’t satisfy the city’s requirements for what constitutes a residence.”

According to Aragon, residential is an allowable use in the building where he runs his radio station. Aragon said he has lived in his office since 2020 following a divorce, and that he is considered the property’s “watchman.” Eddy Aragon for his part called the petition a “political hit job” by his opponents saying:

“The person who’s filing the petition has a long history of hate toward me. [She has a] I [web site]. … There’s no validity to the [residency claims] … What they’re actually looking at here is an overlay. So their argument here is easily defeated. I look forward to seeing them in court. … There’s better ways to go about it. The place to go about it is, let’s do it in the debate. Let’s do it on the issues, let’s do it on the record.”

County Clerk Linda Stover for her part said:

“As of right now, we have no reason to disqualify him. … He’s registered and he lives within the city of Albuquerque, until a judge tells me otherwise. … I’m really not going to get into the weeds on that because, until a judge tells me to do something, [he] has qualified as a candidate.”

Links to quoted news source material are here:


Mayor Tim Keller is a former State Auditor that claimed he fought “waste, fraud and abuse” yet was found to have violated the ethics campaign rules 4 years ago. One complaint filed against Tim Keller’s campaign 4 years ago involved the allegation that “cash donations” for political consulting were reported as “in-kind” donations. The Election Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices ruled that the cash contributions were in fact ethical violations. Ultimately, Keller was found guilty by a unanimous vote of the City Board of Ethics. Rules and Regulations and he was not penalized before or after the complaint was formally heard.

A second more serious complaint file in 2017 against the Keller campaign was that the Keller Campaign for Mayor committee was coordinating their campaign and expenditures with ABQ Forward Together. Neri Holguin, Keller’s 2021 campaign manager was the chairperson “ABQ Forward Together”, the progressive measured finance committee that was formed specifically to raise money to promote progressive Tim Keller for Mayor in 2017. “ABQ Forward Together” raised over $663,000 for Keller’s 2017 bid for Mayor as Keller qualified for public financing and given $340,000 for his 2017 campaign for Mayor.

As Mayor, Tim Keller he recently signed off on a highly questionable sale of city property to supporters of his re-election campaign. Keller requested the approve of the sale of the historic Rosenwald Building for $360,000 in a “private bid” to build condos. The sale of the building was negotiated by the Keller Administration and presented to the council for approval at the request of Mayor Tim Keller. In 2009, the city had purchased the historic 42,000-square-foot building for $1.7 million. The city sold the Rosenwald Building to someone who made a $50,000 donation to Mayor Keller’s charitable foundation and $15,000 in donations to the measured finance committee promoting Keller for a second term. The sale also includes a 14-year lease by the city of 1,100 square feet for an APD police substation.

On August 19, 2021, Mayor Tim Keller found time in the evening to stop by the UNM football stadium during the football team’s practice. He was dressed in a LOBO T-shirt wearing shorts and holding a football like a coach. Keller proceeded to give an inspirational, high-volume pep talk to the team as the UNM football coach stood by his side and as video was taken. He told the group of football players sitting on the ground and looking up at him how the community had their backs. Keller was was very supportive of the team, and he told the players that even if attendance at their games is sparse and the bleachers empty, football in the fall was the only game in town that everybody watched on TV. Keller told the players that by the end of the season, everyone will know most of their names. After he spoke, his experience as a former high school football quarter back kicked in and he successfully threw a pass taking great pleasure at the feat he accomplished. Keller made sure the video was posted on his FACEBOOK page and that it was posted on YOUTUBE with the link here:


The November 2 municipal election is now exactly 60 days away. Talk about one fine mess and its only going to get worse. Instead of healthy debate on issues between the candidates, the public sees court challenges and a Mayor reliving his high school glory days as the city’s violent crime and murder rates continues to sky rocket.

The race for Albuquerque Mayor between incumbent Progressive Democrat and ethically challenged Mayor Tim Keller, Der Führer Trump’s favorite Conservative Democrat Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Der Führer Republican radio shock jock Eddy Aragon continues to swirl around as it goes down the toilet bowl.


Eddy Aragon is a staunch supporter of Der Führer Trump. Aragon is as qualified to be Mayor of Albuquerque as was Der Führer Trump was to be President, which is not qualified at all. Aragon would be just as big of a disaster as the Trump crazy. Aragon with his talk show is on the same level as FOX News and the likes of Sean Hannity. Aragon enjoys badgering and taking issue with anyone who is Democrat or he considers progressive.

After Sheriff Manny Gonzales traveled to the White House last summer to appear with Der Führer and after working and appearing with former Republican Attorney General William Barr, Gonzales became “persona non gratis” within the Democratic Party to the point some within the party demanded he resign. He is now considered a Democrat In Name Only (DINO). Gonzales appearing on FOX News to oppose Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health orders also alienated many Democrats.

Over the last 4 years, Mayor Keller’s accomplishments have been less than stellar. The city’s high murder rate is rising even further. Violent crime has only gotten worse with the killing of 13-year-old by another 13-year-old boy in a school yard who took his dad’s gun to school and with APD officers now being shot 4 at a time. For 4 years, murders have hit an all-time record under Keller, with many still unsolved. But what the hell, we got a Mayor who wants the public to pay for and build a $60 million dollar soccer stadium so he can run around reliving his high school glory days and giving pep talks to college football players.


When it comes to the denial of public finance, the best option for the voters is for the City, the City Clerk and the Gonzales campaign to seek an emergency hearing before the New Mexico Supreme Court and ask the Supreme Court to disqualify Judge Biedscheid and the City Clerk Ethan Watson from taking any further action on the case. The New Mexico Supreme Court should order the City Board Of Ethics And Campaign Practices to conduct a hearing within 5 days affording due process of law to Gonzales and allow the Ethics Board to rule on the one pending ethics case against Gonzales and also to decide if Gonzales should be certified for public finance or fined.


The city is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include the coronavirus pandemic, business closures, high unemployment rates, exceptionally high violent crime and murder rates, continuing mismanagement of the Albuquerque Police Department, failed implementation of the Department of Justice reforms after a full six years and millions spent, declining revenues and gross receipts tax, increasing homeless numbers, lack of mental health programs and little to no economic development actually being done by the city.

With all 3 of the candidates for Mayor, what we will get is a continuation of mayor who makes promises and offers only eternal hope for better times that result in broken campaign promises. We will not be getting a mayor who actually knows what they are doing, who can make the hard decisions without an eye on the next election. With all 3, we will get a Mayor that will make decisions only to placate their base and please only those who voted for them.

Links to related blog articles are here:

Der Führer Trump Radio Shock Jock Eddy Aragon Formally Declares Running For Mayor; Let’s jail grandma to reduce the homeless! And Other Crazy; A Choice Between The Lesser Of 2 Evils And 1 Crazy Trumpster Is No Choice At All

Der Führer Trump’s Favorite Democrat Sherriff Manny Gonzales Runs For Mayor; A DINO And Law Enforcement Dinosaur

Mayor Tim Keller’s Promises Made, Promises Broken As He Seeks Second Term; Voters Will Decide If Keller “Has Done A Good Job”