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Same New, Old News From APD And Berry

Same New, Old News From APD And Berry

It seems the July 2017 Berry / Cole announcement is nothing more than a regurgitation of the March 2013 Berry / Schultz press conference.

A lot has been happening in Albuquerque, issues that bring up more questions than answers.

Mayor Richard Berry, along with his favorite person Chamber of Commerce CEO Terri Cole, got together for a press conference. Thankfully, Cole didn’t give Berry another public safety award. What they did was announce something new that sure sounded old.

Berry and Cole announced a new crime initiative called SCAN (Security Camera Analytical Network). This guy really loves acronyms. This program will allow business owners and citizens to attach their security cameras into the Albuquerque Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center.

Hmmm is this a new idea?

Flashback to March 1, 2013 and there you have Berry and then Chief of Police, Ray “Taser” Schultz, doing a press conference announcing the opening of the Real Time Crime Center. During this press conference, Berry and Schultz stated they wanted businesses to sign up their security cameras to this system.

It seems the July 2017 Berry / Cole announcement is nothing more than a regurgitation of the March 2013 Berry / Schultz press conference.

But you wouldn’t know that because the local media gushed all over the new press conference. Not one of the mainstream news outlets took a minute to search their own archives to find they all reported the same thing back in 2013.

You now have proof that Berry has no clue how to deal with crime in Albuquerque, and the local media doesn’t fact-check anything. Berry brings out an old idea and says it’s brand-new and the media drinks it up, not taking a minute to research their own records. Sad.

The city council met last week and was briefed on the Police Oversight Board investigation into APD telling lies about murdered child Victoria Martens.

The council was outraged, but not about lying about Victoria.

The councilors expressed mock outrage that the Police Oversight Board would dare invite the mayoral candidates to a mini-forum at its next meeting. Not a single councilor stood to defend the reputation of brutally murdered Victoria. The current councilors have no courage. They are political hacks playing their own version of “House of Cards,” trying to maneuver for their own political gains. Sick.

Councilor Klarissa Peña almost did the right thing. She questioned APD supervisors about how they handle referrals from the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department. Pena pointed out that APD still does not have a written policy on how to handle CYFD referrals. And then she went silent. And no other council member opined.

To be on the Albuquerque city council you have to check your ability to reason and think. Frustrating.

And how about the revelation that APD still does not have a written policy on how to handle CYFD referrals. It was in 2013, after nine-year-old Omaree Varela was kicked to death by his mother, that Berry announced he was spending $50,000 of our money to pay a retired APD command officer to figure out how APD can better handle CYFD referrals and crimes against children.

Fifty-thousand bought us a 26-page report (20 pages if you remove blank pages, title page, table of contents, etc.), that had some good ideas, but glaringly missed that APD doesn’t have a written policy! The high paid people who reviewed this report, CAO Rob Perry ($190,000 a year) and APD Chief Gordon Eden ($160,000 a year) didn’t catch it either.

Four years later and APD still does not have a written policy regarding CYFD referrals. Why are we paying Eden and Perry? This is the Peter Principal at work in Albuquerque. Berry hires political hacks, pays them large amounts of our money and never holds them accountable.

Finally, the CPOA made public that their investigation into the allegation of lying by APD regarding the Victoria Martens case was finished. The result? APD lied to us about poor Victoria. Two members of Eden’s command staff, a civilian and an officer were found to have lied to the public.

What didn’t happen was the CPOA expanding their investigation to include Eden’s part in these horrible lies. It was discovered that Eden knew months before the lies were told that APD never responded to the CYFD call regarding Victoria.

After the lies were told, the civilian in his office stated that she told Eden that they had lied. What did Gordo do? Nothing. Who will review the CPOA case against these two people? Eden. Do we expect justice to be served? No. What has Berry had to say about the lies? Nothing.

Is it any wonder why Albuquerque is a mess?

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Dan Klein

Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque police sergeant. Reach him via Facebook and Twitter via @dankleinabq.

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  • Charlotte Walters
    August 14, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Everything stated by Mr. Klein should be considered common sense. It was surprising to hear the paid Citizens Police Oversight Agency investigator when questioned by the Citizens Police Oversight Board President of the need for inquiries to the APD Chief of Police Eden about this cover up. His lame response about not thinking about this as a next step in his investigation is outrageous. Even more disconcerting is that the POB did not insist this interview be conducted now.

    And, so it goes…round and round with lots of figure pointing. It might occur to Albuquerque citizens that ALL these public servants must be replaced—Mayor, City Councilors, the entire APD Command, and the CPOB. Clearly, the corruption, apathy, and lack of vision to change it will not be resolved with these current office holders, staff, and volunteers.

    The bigger questions need to be addressed by the candidates running for Mayor? DO YOU GET IT?

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

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