Crisis Intervention Training Having a Marked Effect on Use of Force
While the Trump administration might want to walk away from the DOJ’s police reform agreement with the Albuquerque Police Department, it might want to consider that the agreement has led to fewer officer-involved shootings here.
According to APD, officer-involved-shootings totaled six in 2016, a 53 percent decrease from the 13 shootings in 2010.
And while some law enforcement experts say the relatively small numbers at APD make it difficult to say that true trend has developed, it’s clear that the number of OISs peaked in 2010.
And, perhaps a stronger indicator that APD officers have changed their behavior, overall firearm discharges by officers last year were 72 percent lower than in 2010. In 2010, officers fired their guns 25 times, and last year, seven times, according to APD.
James Ginger, the independent monitor in the DOJ’s settlement agreement with APD, has repeatedly said that APD’s specialized units, especially the SWAT team, have done an excellent job of working to deescalate situations and refrain from firing their weapons or otherwise using force.
On March 3, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza told city councilors that because of the crisis intervention training (CIT) mandated by the settlement agreement, officers are using less force and making fewer arrests when dealing with people who are in emotional crisis situations.
Between January and October of 2016, APD officers responded to 2,064 CIT calls. In 77.8 percent of those calls, the subjects were taken to a hospital. Only 1.6 percent of those calls resulted in an arrest or detention, Espinoza said.
And, 0.29 percent of those cases resulted in the use of force by an officer, Espinoza said.
Since 2010, APD officers have fatally shot more than 30 people. In early 2014, the DOJ issued a scathing report that said APD officers had a pattern of using too much force. That report led the city to sign a settlement agreement with the DOJ that requires APD to return to a practice of constitutional policing.
People involved in the reform process have said it would be hard for the DOJ to walk away from because it is a signed deal that’s before a federal court judge.
Here’s a look at APD’s officer-involved-shootings and weapons discharges over the past seven years:
Officer involved shootings