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Chamber Award To Berry An Insult To Cops

Chamber Award To Berry An Insult To Cops

This award should be given to the rookiest of rookies in the APD for having the courage to want to be a part of a police department Berry and his crew have ruined.

BY DENNIS MAEZ

You’d think an “Excellence in Public Safety” award would be given to a police officer that saved the life of a citizen threatened by a criminal, or a parole officer whose charges have turned their lives around as a result of that parole officer’s devotion to their chosen field.

Maybe a citizen who got involved and helped law enforcement, or a mail carrier who reported suspicious activity that led to the capture of repeat burglars. But not in Albuquerque. And not by an organization whose members have suffered at the hands of a criminal element out of control in the city they’re supposed to represent.

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce award for “Excellence in Public Safety” goes to Mayor Richard J. Berry, who for the past eight years has led a city administration that’s turned one of the most beautiful cities in the country into one of the most feared places to live.

We all know what the situation is. I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago which said to stop whining about how we got where we are and start looking to the future, and the hope of getting this mess turned around with a new mayor. Hopefully the new mayor will shepherd this city back to being a place we can be proud to say we reside.

So, here I am whining, but wow, the presentation of this award to Mayor Berry is just too much to pass up.

Folks like myself can whine all day long and that’s good, I guess; it shows we care (or just like to hear ourselves whine), but for goodness sake, where is the city council in this little melodrama? How can each of those councilors sit on their hands and not be screaming to a news camera that this is an insult to the Albuquerque Police Department, who get up every day, pin their badge to their uniform, strap on a gun and go to work protecting the citizens of Albuquerque, all the while never knowing if they’ll return to their families at the end of their shift?

By giving this award to Berry, the Chamber of Commerce is saying the complete disaster that has been the Berry years as mayor have, uh, been excellent?

This award should be given to the rookiest of rookies in the APD for having the courage to want to be a part of a police department Berry and his crew have ruined. That’s who should get this award, whomever that rookie is, they want to do the best they can for the citizens of Albuquerque, something that the mayor and his administration have failed at miserably in the eight years.

Another sad fact to come out of this little backslapping by the “good ole boys” is that whatever credibility the GACC had with its members and citizens is lost.

How can an organization whose CEO last week was “concerned” about crime in Downtown Albuquerque and the impact it’s had on economic development, or lack of, honor our mayor for “Excellence in Public Safety”?

It’s like giving the captain of the Titanic a posthumous award for transatlantic navigation.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Maez is a retired U.S. Secret Service agent and former Albuquerque cop.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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