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APD continues to bungle crime stats

By Dan Klein

-- Smathers says crime is up, while Medina says crime is down. Who to believe?

-- Smathers and Medina address the troops while looking like slobs. Have they no pride in themselves or in their department?

Remember back in July of 2019 when Mayor Keller and then APD Chief Mike Geier held a press conference to tell the city that crime was lower, and they had the stats to prove it? Keller and Geier gushed at how their leadership was knocking crime down in Albuquerque. Of course, everyone who lived in Albuquerque knew it was false, but Geier and Keller had the numbers.

That was until December 2019 when the Albuquerque Journal caught on that the numbers had been revised and crime was not down. This is also known as “cooking the books.” Knowing that Keller and his APD chiefs (Harold Medina was first deputy chief when the false crime stats were made public) have told us lies about crime in Albuquerque in the past, why would any of us believe them now or in the future?

This brings me to a short video compiled by Charles Arasim that must be seen by citizens in Albuquerque.

It begins on May 14, 2021, with First Deputy Chief of Police Mike Smathers filling in for the vacationing chief, Harold Medina, doing the chief’s video briefing to the troops. Here is the important takeaway from what Smathers said:

“…. We continue to have double-digit increases in property crimes…”

One week later on May 21, 2021, and Chief Medina is back from vacation, what does he have to say to the troops?

“…we’re also working very hard to update our crime numbers. Preliminarily, our crime numbers for property crimes look very well and once again in this first quarter of 2021 we’re seeing double-digit reductions in property crimes…”

One week and two different statements on property crimes. Who do we believe? Based upon their past lies, why would we believe any of them (although I believe Smathers, don’t you?) This is Keller’s “A” Team of leadership at APD. God help us.

The only thing that Medina and Smathers appear to agree upon is that they have no respect for Albuquerque and APD. Both guys earn well over six-figures, yet Smathers and Medina look like they got their uniforms off the rack at Goodwill and neither of them have ever been to a dry cleaners. Bluntly stated, Smathers and Medina look like crap in their wrinkled, disheveled uniforms.

Smathers' uniform looks like he pulled his shirt out of the dryer and just put it on and went to work without taking the time to iron it. Smathers' uniform shirt appears dirty, wrinkled and unkempt. How do you instill professionalism when you don’t carry yourself as a professional? You don’t.

Medina can’t even put a regular uniform shirt on, it’s just a glorified t-shirt. Is he wearing pants? Seriously, I don’t want to know. Medina’s t-shirt is old, wrinkled and not what a chief of police of any police department should be wearing when they are formally addressing their officers and the public. Medina’s t-shirt appearance is an embarrassment to every man and woman who has worn an APD badge. The panhandler at 4th and Menaul is dressed better than Medina. It comes down to pride and respect for your officers, your city and your department. When the chief and deputy chief dress like slobs they are telling everyone exactly how they feel about Albuquerque.

Any time a command staff officer is in public or formally speaking to the officers they should be wearing a Class A uniform or a suit. Medina and Smathers are representing Albuquerque and APD, they are ambassadors and as such they should strive, daily, to look immaculate. It’s part of their responsibility as chiefs.

Why is the appearance of the Medina and Smathers important to this story about crime stats? When they care so little about how they represent Albuquerque and APD, you can understand why their ability to do their jobs and get correct crime stat numbers fails. When you don’t give a damn about your professional appearance why would you give a damn about doing a professional job?

I am embarrassed for my police department and for my city, we deserve professionals and instead we get six-figured slobs.


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I've been a reporter, writer and editor for 37 years. I'm dedicated to honest, fair and hard-hitting reporting. I'm not conservative or liberal, but am just a reporter who tries to get to the truth at any given point in time. I don't believe in pulling punches or being a lap dog because that serves no one. A free and aggressive press is essential to human liberty. That's why the Founding Fathers put a free press in the Constitution. So on this site you'll get a variety of news, fearless opinion, analysis, humor, satire and commentary. It's kind of like a free-for-all. My motto is "Without fear and without favor."  But good journalism takes time and money, so I hope you will contribute what you can to these efforts by clicking on the "Donate" button above. I could use your help. Thanks, Dennis Domrzalski.

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