I have one question for Belen Mayor Jera Cordova, if Belen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez is doing such a poor job, why haven’t you fired him?
Cordova goes on KRQE and tells the world that the Belen Police Department is at half strength and crime is out of control. So out of control that he had to beg the New Mexico State Police to step in.
Cordova stated that Belen PD has been without “leadership” and he has been “frustrated” with how Rodriguez manages the police department.
Cordova is so frustrated he complains to the media. Apparently, he doesn’t know that he is the mayor and he can fire, or at least recommend termination, of the police chief.
Sadly, this lack of spine is prevalent in New Mexico politics.
Just look at Governor Susana Martinez, who kept her state police chief even though he sent a sexually explicit picture to a female employee at the Department of Public Safety. He followed this up with a drunken episode where he dropped his pants and mooned several of his staff.
Let’s define “mooning”, it’s where you drop your pants and expose your naked buttocks and genitals. Yet that wasn’t enough to warrant termination.
Instead of termination, state taxpayers paid out over a million to settle lawsuits related to these episodes and the state police chief kept his job until the new governor was elected.
Just look at the lack of spine past Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry had when it came to his police chiefs. Had Berry fired Chief Ray Schultz and hired a competent police chief, I doubt the police department would be under Department of Justice consent decree. A decree that has hemorrhaged millions from city taxpayers and caused the city to become a haven for criminals.
When Schultz finally retired, Berry hired an incompetent political insider as chief. A man who’s resume looked great, but who failed miserably at running APD.
The lesson here is clear and easy, when a police department is having issues, the mayor or city manager needs to hold the person at the top accountable and terminate them. And then hire a competent replacement.
If that replacement is a screw-up, learn from Abraham Lincoln and fire that chief. Keep firing until you find the right chief of police who can lead.
It all comes down to our elected officials doing the job we elected them to do. Susana failed to do this, and it has cost the state taxpayers. R.J. Berry failed to do this, and it has cost Albuquerque taxpayers.
Mayor Jera Cordova, instead of whining to the media, if you think your chief is a failure fire him. That’s what you were elected to do. It’s your job.