A former board member of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency wrote a letter criticizing the agency's mishandling of cases and claiming its executive director isn't doing his job.
According to KRQE, Chelsea Van Deventer has been at odds with both the CPOA and the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association since earlier this year. In June, the attorney for the Albuquerque Police Department's Union, John D’Amato, called attention to a series of tweets written by Van Deventer that he believed demonstrated her bias against law enforcement. In one tweet written by Van Deventer, she retweeted an analysis on the federal “Blue Lives Matter Bill”—that includes a penalty of up to 10 years for assaulting a police officer—and says, “F— this.” In another tweet, Van Deventer said New Mexico Rep. Monica Youngblood should have gotten the death penalty after being arrested for a DWI.
Van Deventer resigned from the board on Nov. 14 after accepting a job as the chief prosecutor for Laguna Pueblo, seemingly putting an end to the disagreement. But last week, she sent a letter stating that CPOA Executive Director Edward Harness was not doing his job and that the agency is closing most of the cases of police misconduct without a complete and full investigation. “I would say over 90 percent of the cases that are coming are being administratively closed,” she said.
Climate Change Plan Unveiled
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's Climate Change Task Force released a report last week that examined the results of the governor's climate-related initiatives and outlined future plans to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.
The Associated Press reports that the governor is particularly focused on methane emissions. The New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department have partnered with a Santa Fe-based data company to use satellite imaging technology to locate methane leaks in real time. Draft recommendations for limiting methane emissions in New Mexico are expected before the end of the year.
To curb emissions, the report says the state plans to update residential building codes to require more energy efficiency, incentivize the purchase of cleaner vehicles and invest in electric charging stations. Authorities also plan to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in 2022. And the Governor has said that the state will be implementing clean car standards that are more stringent than current federal rules in the future.
Mayor Announces Anti-Crime Plan
Last week, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced a new plan to address the city's high violent crime rates.
According to KOB, Keller told reporters during a press conference that the new Violence Intervention Plan will be a joint effort between law enforcement, prosecutors and social services. The plan will introduce a Violence Intervention Division within APD and increase coordination between investigative units and prosecutors while receiving input from social services on the most effective evidence-based violence reduction strategies. Authorities will also be reaching out to community partners to improve trust between law enforcement and the greater community.