Friday, April 18, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Albuquerque PD Cleanup

Let it be said, the United States of America Department of Justice has found a lot of things wrong with the Albuquerque Police Department.

Suffice it to say, at this time and place - we as a community should all work to make our police department better.  

We should all work to make our community better.

We can't get there if we don't try.

Stop the name calling - stop putting blame - let the experts who know how and want to help us solve our problems get to work!

We'll soon be better for it!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Albuquerque PD Change Coming?

In this little corner of the world (the mid-Rio Grande Valley) there is much adooo about a Department of Justice announcement on Thursday regarding the Albuquerque Police Department.

Things are different in the department since my 2nd cousin was chief (Bob Stover) - or going back even more - since Paul Shaver was chief (oh yes, I'm that old)...

Laws have changes, public attitudes have changed - awareness has changed.

Everyone is anticipating that the feds will come in, wave a magic wand, and everything will be better - instantly.  Even the formal agreement between the City and the United States of America will take time to hash out.

Don't expect instant gratification.

It'll take time.  

Be patient.

Take time, try to adjust!

There will be resignations from the department - some gun happy roughneck guys & gals will want to find another place to brandish their wares.  Good!

In the end, let us hope the DOJ has concrete recommendations to make - we'll all be better for it.

Let us bite our lower lip and say "this is change for the good."

Our community will be better, we'll all feel safer - and maybe people will start into our community instead of moving out.

Let's hope so!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

O' Fair New Mexico Lament

Maybe it's the wind...maybe it's the news...but there's something in the water (at least there could be if we had any) that's not good.

Case in point - as any of you might have seen, one of those who was one of New Mexico's brightest has left.   Chris Cervini is not alone.

Read his good bye and wonder - what should we do?  What can we do?

The land of manana is wonderful - but ... something's got to give!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Albuquerque – The Town in Trouble

The Mayor of Albuquerque has sent a letter to Washington, DC asking for help.

Most republicans try to stay as far away from the central government as possible.

But, Mr. Mayor Berry is in a tough spot. 

His town is in trouble. Our image in the world is now one of a shootout in the foothills (the recent deadly shootout can be seen on You Tube) instead of a wonderful place to live with fantastic vistas and a caring people.

This is a problem, not all of RJ Berry’s doing, that has a police department senior leadership destined to “clean up the community” no matter what.  It’s that clean up that’s causing the problem.  There are a bunch of uniformed police officers that get a bit too anxious with the trigger finger, causing multiple deaths, many of them folks with “mental problems”.  It has cost our community millions of dollars in legal settlements, and an incalculable amount of pain and suffering for families of victims.

In his letter to the Department of Justice, Mr. Mayor is telling the feds he’s making changes in the way certain things are done in his police department.  And, he wants to work with DOJ to make things better.

He’s stepping in front of an incoming train.

Sending a letter asking for help – before an expected takeover is announced- enables him to take a political story line of, “I saw a problem and asked for help” when in fact, it must be the last thing in the world he ever wanted to do.   

Checking what’s happened in other cities that have been subject to police department takeovers by the Department of Justice, one thing is clear.  The DOJ, while recognizing that improvement may be in the works doesn’t really care what steps are underway – things must change according to the fed’s playbook. 

The Attorney General of the United States can be expected to arrive in Albuquerque someday soon – and announce the City of Albuquerque is in trouble – and the people deserve better.

There will be some legal wrangling, but ultimately the Government of the United States will send someone here to “monitor” (read that, take over) the police department.   That person will have control over the department, from top to bottom.  The Chief of Police will be the chief assistant to the federal monitor, and the Mayor and City Council will have to find the money to make federally mandated changes in structure, training, manpower and equipment.

It won’t happen instantly.  And it won’t be pretty. But it’s necessary.

A person I know, who has experienced one of these situations before, has indicated to me the people who really won’t like this – the line supervisors – the sergeants, lieutenants, captains and deputy bosses who have grown up under a department of corruption – and like things the way it is.

We welcome their resignations.  

The shift in attitude, training, and operations will take years to fully implement.  Some of our patrolmen who now “walk the beat” may reach retirement before it is all over.
It’s the price we, as a community, must pay for years and years of brother-in-law policing that isn’t working.

Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

Regarding this issue, it is all too apparent that our Mayor and City Council are not capable of leading; they have no leadership to follow, so they must – for the sake of the community – get out of the way.

Mr. Attorney General Holder, most of us welcome your helpers to Albuquerque. 

We need the outside counsel; we’re not capable of helping ourselves. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Albuquerque Protesting

Lots of publicity for our little city on the banks of the Rio Grande today.  People taking to the streets to protest police department shootings.

For those of us who have been around for a while it is reminiscent of the Vietnam War protests of the 70's. At least this time no one has been stabbed by the National Guard, and there hasn't been burning of buildings.

A civil protest based on a community concern. 
Over the weekend there were also protests in Tucson.  

Protestants disappointed in the lack of success of their Arizona Wildcats in March Madness.

There is no parallel for the protests - and there's no parallel for the cities  - except, according to Wikipedia:

Albuquerque  189 Square Miles    Tucson 227 Square Miles
Albuquerque  Population 555,000   Tucson Population 524,000
Albuquerque Metro Population 902,797   Tucson Metro Population 992,394

So, why is it the folks from Albuquerque protest police shootings, and the folks from Tucson protest the results of their basketball team?

So, why is it the University of New Mexico Lobos can't get past the first game in the NCAA's, and the Arizona Wildcats are #1 in the country for a time and make it to the Sweet #16.

Why is it Tucson and their community minded Conquistadors can put on one of the premier golf events in the world in February, and Albuquerque can't even put on a 2nd or 3rd tier level golf event?  

It's because of the lack of community support and community leadership. 

Critics say "Albuquerque can't because we're a poor community!"

B.S.  Tucson, and the people who live there are richer than us.

Maybe Tucson is better than Albuquerque at a whole bunch of things because they have community and business leaders who aren't afraid to stand up in front of the band and lead the parade, rather than standing in the middle of the band playing coronet!

Me knows there are a lot of similarities between Tucson and Albuquerque  -  part desert and mountains to the east.  The sizes of our populations.   Our mix of ethnic populations.

Why is it our leaders in Albuquerque scoff when compared to Tucson.   Instead of scoffing, maybe we should be learning.

Wouldn't it be a lot nicer if we were protesting the results of a basketball game instead of the results of trigger happy police officers.

It would make the jobs of economic developers and tourism promoters a lot easier.

Instead of saying, our nationwide front page tear gas toting pictures are of people upset about police shootings, we could say our nationwide front page tear gas toting pictures are of a passionate people upset with a game. 

Where are we going wrong?