news

Mayor Berry looks to improve police oversight

Criticism of Albuquerque’s embattled police department never stopped with the officers and chief. Activists have long questioned the work of the Police Oversight Commission, an all-volunteer panel that oversees investigation of citizen complaints, among other things.

A report issued by MGT of America at the City Council’s request takes issue with the Police Oversight Commission’s “failure to lead.” It cites bad training and a lack of participation.

The report suggested the commission should have disciplinary power. But Mayor Richard Berry disagrees. “To require a politically appointed volunteer citizen committee to direct officer discipline would be unfair to the commission,” he says in a news release today.

Berry instead made 17 recommendations for the City Council to consider. Among them:

• A national search for the next independent review officer, (who reviews citizen complaints)

• Authority for city administration or the Council to remove a commissioner for not attending meetings or undergoing training

• Authority for the mayor to nominate a volunteer if the Council doesn’t

• A better commission website

• Software for tracking trends in citizen complaints

• $15,000 a year for commissioners to attend conferences and training