Bombshell: Medina says APD can't focus on fighting crime
-- Interim police chief says APD has to divert resources to complying with the DOJ consent decree.
-- Admits that APD is short of patrol officers.
-- Is asking street cops to decide which calls for service cops should not be sent to.
-- Is Medina admitting defeat? Have the murders, rapists, car thieves, burglars and thugs won?
-- All the focus is on making the DOJ happy, while Albuquerque burns down.
In a message that is sure to shock and outrage city residents, interim Police Chief Harold Medina on Friday told his officers that the Albuquerque Police Department cannot—repeat, cannot—focus exclusively on fighting crime because it has to divert resources to comply with Department of Justice reform requirements.
In a four-minute internal video shown to APD employees, a tired and defeated looking Medina also said that the police department is short of patrol officers and that he is asking officers in the field to determine which calls for service cops shouldn't—that's right, shouldn't—be sent to.
The media outlet that obtained the video—ABQ RAW—said the clip shows that Medina and the Keller administration have admitted defeat in the fight against crime. The video is right below.
What's even more infuriating is that the city is in the midst of a raging crime wave—at least 15 murders in the month of January—and instead of focusing exclusively on stopping and catching murderers, rapist, car thieves, burglars and other assorted thugs and fiends, the police department has to divert its attention and limited resources to complying with the six-year-old settlement agreement with the DOJ.
And even worse, on Thursday, Medina held a news conference to address the massive number of murders, and not once during that conference did he tell Albuquerque residents that because of the DOJ and a shortage of cops, APD can't focus exclusively on its real and only job, which is to fight crime.
You can watch that news conference here.
Here's what Medina said in Friday's video to APD employees:
“I wish, and those of you who know me, uh, know that I would love to sit here and say that we're going to focus on crime and crime alone. But the reality is that's not where the Albuquerque Police Department is at this time, and we must change the culture for the good of the community and for the good of our officers. So we're going to have to make sure that we're open to ensuring that we move forward on all fronts, the compliance front and the crime front, and it's a very delicate balancing act, and when we're able to I intend to give more resources to Investigations
“We recognize the Field (patrol officers) is short and I'm going to ask commander(s) in the field to make sure their people are getting information to us on which calls we shouldn't be dispatching to. So there's a lot of moving parts to this. We're well aware of them, we're committed, and everybody recognize that this is a tough time for law enforcement across the nation.”
So murders and crime are raging out of control in the city, APD's Homicide unit doesn't have enough detectives, and instead of getting more investigators there now, Medina basically said he can't because, well, the DOJ settlement agreement is there.
Read his statement again:
“And when we're able to I intend to give more resources to Investigations.”
Well Harold and Mayor Tim Keller, when will you be able to give more resources to Investigations? How many more murders will it take to get more detectives working homicides? How many more robberies, assaults, rapes, car thefts and burglaries will it take to get the Albuquerque Police Department to focus exclusive on its only real job of fighting crime and keeping us safe?
Mayor Keller and Interim Chief Medina, please tell us. When will APD put all its resources into fighting crime and keeping us safe? WHEN?
Here's another issue in this whole sickening mess. In the video, Medina is painfully honest to his officers that APD has a problem with staffing and that crime is raging out of control. He admits that making the DOJ consent decree happy is the priority, not fighting crime.
So why didn’t he tell the citizens this on Thursday when he held his press conference? We're tired of Keller and Medina telling the public what they think we want to hear, yet behind closed doors they tell their officers the truth: that resources are going to satisfy the DOJ than should be used to protect us by fighting crime.
This is where we are, Albuquerque: The DOJ settlement agreement has gutted APD. Police department leaders have no clue what to do to make the city safer. All the focus is on making the DOJ happy, while Albuquerque burns down. Is this what the citizens wanted from the consent decree? Why can’t we have a better police department and a safer city? Why is it one or the other?