APD's Chief's OT is policing for the rich; the rest of us be damned

April 13, 2019

- In Albuquerque, the rich can BUY better police protection.

 

- Chief's OT is an abuse of police services that pits rich against poor with the poor always losing.

 

- Instead of using our police officers in a fair and equitable way throughout the city, APD has become a private security vendor for the rich, taxpayers be damned.

 

- What will adding more cops to APD's ranks matter if they're farmed out to wealthy neighborhoods and billion-dollar corporations instead of where they're needed?

 

- Mayor Keller needs to end Chief's OT now.

 

- The next time Geier and Keller cry a river about not having enough cops, tell them they are full of crap. Tell them to end their program of policing only for the rich.

 

The Albuquerque Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA) investigation into Albuquerque Police Department Office / PIO Simon Drobik exorbitant salary, has exposed a dirty little secret in Albuquerque: if you are rich you can buy better police protection. If you are poor you are shit out of luck.

 

 

The CPOA investigation gave one example of the rich versus poor police protection from APD. On January 25, 2018, Drobik was assigned a regular uniform patrol shift of ten hours, based out of the Northeast Area Command. He worked five hours and then took leave for five hours so he could do a Chief’s Overtime Assignment. Where was the Chief’s Overtime Assignment at? Glenwood Hills, a very wealthy area of Albuquerque. What was Drobik assignment? To provide specific police protection to the Glenwood Hills neighborhood that pays him $78.50 per hour (this city also gets a cut). Drobik’s normal pay rate is $31.50 per hour.

 

I don’t fault Drobik, nor any APD officer who takes advantage of this, they would be nuts not to double their wages. My complaint here is focused directed at the mayor, city council and police chief, who allow this police protection inequality to occur. It is blatantly unfair to every taxpayer in Albuquerque and specifically to all poor neighborhoods and businesses who can’t afford to pay like Glenwood Hills, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. It is an abuse of police services that pits rich against poor with the poor always losing.

 

No wonder crime is out of control in Albuquerque, instead of using our police officers in a fair and equitable way throughout the city, APD has become a private security vendor for the rich, taxpayers be damned.

 

I recommend to Mayor Keller that he immediately end the Chief’s Overtime Program. The only overtime officers should be working are late calls, court and specific police directed tactical plans to address crime in specific neighborhoods.

 

Imagine if the city allowed for overtime for officers to flood a neighborhood for 48 hours with a huge police presence. Imagine this happening every week. APD could get a handle on crime in the International District and other neighborhoods that are currently plagued with non-stop criminal activity.

 

Crime stats for each week could result in an almost immediate 24 / 7 response by APD officers to a specific area to help the on-duty officers and take back our streets. This is what taxpayer funded police officers should be used for, not to be high paid security guards in wealthy neighborhoods or billion-dollar businesses. I am sure the business owners in Nob Hill would love to see officers working their area more, instead of being parked outside the Best Buy on Cottonwood Corners.

Every citizen of Albuquerque deserves equal protection from APD. Our tax-dollars are supposed to ensure this fairness, but it is not happening. Night after night we see the news and reports of more murders and break-ins in the poorer parts of town. Then we see Chief Geier and Mayor Keller saying we need more officers to get a handle on the crime. Increasing APD’s budget so they can get up to 1,100 cops, but what will it matter when the 900 cops we currently have are farmed out to the wealthy instead of where they are needed?

 

Albuquerque could use more cops, yes I agree, but APD needs better management. The citizen taxpayers of Albuquerque demand better APD response. Why should a taxpaying citizen in Old Town have to wait hours for a police officer, but a rich citizen in Glenwood Hills gets one within minutes because they can pay extra? Is this equality under the law? No, it is not!

 

The next time Geier and Keller cry a river about not having enough cops, tell them they are full of crap. Tell them to end their program of policing only for the rich. The rich can hire private security for their needs. The rest of us demand that our tax dollars be used fairly and by that, I mean giving equal police protection to all neighborhoods, not just the wealthy.

 

We all pay for equal police service, that service should not be for the rich to abuse.

Mayor Keller and Chief Geier will you start treating all citizens fairly? Or are you only beholding to those with big checking accounts? Citizens you need to demand equal police protection.

 

Consider this from the CPOA investigation:

 

The officers’ supervisor doesn’t have to approve Chief’s Overtime by policy and very often the supervisor doesn’t know why the officer is taking time off. The officer has essentially abandoned his primary duty of the safety and well-being of the public, so they can go and work (for more money) for a private company (or neighborhood). When the officer should have been at work answering calls for service, they instead used the city police care, gas and equipment to go to work for a private vendor (or neighborhood).

 

The first obligation of a police officer is to the general public’s safety and well-being. Their obligation should not be to private venders, especially at the cost of the victim of a crime who can’t get a police officer to come to their crime scene because the officer who was supposed to be working that day took time off to work at Walmart, Target, a movie production (or a wealthy neighborhood).

 

 

 

 

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