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Playing Football While Albuquerque Burns

Albuquerque has a crime problem. Albuquerque Police Department has a leadership problem. Mayor Tim Keller has a public relations problem (his name is Mike Geier). How will the brilliant Tim Keller and his new police chief fix these problems? How will Interim Chief Medina show that he is the man for the job?

They issue an order allowing non-uniformed members of APD to wear their favorite NFL football jersey on Fridays. Yeah, right, football jerseys will fix all of Albuquerque crime woes.

Wearing a football jersey is a PR stunt, it won’t help reduce crime. This should not come as a surprise because Keller's tenure as mayor of Albuquerque has been heavy on PR stunts—PR stunts to further his political career—and light on solving Albuquerque’s crime and police leadership problems. One only has to sit back and watch the bickering between ex-Chief Mike Geier and Keller's staff to realize that the kindergartners have been running the city. (Apologies to kindergartners.)

With that in mind, I would like to award a free meal, at your favorite restaurant, to the first APD Homicide detective who wears a Buffalo Bills O.J. Simpson Jersey to work on Friday. How about a New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez jersey? Or maybe a Carolina Panther Rae Carruth jersey? Or a Kansas City Chiefs Jovan Belcher jersey? Or Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. Yes, you guessed it, all of them were accused of murder. Three of them were accused of murdering their girlfriends. If you were the family of a murder victim how would you feel if the detective interviewing you wore one of these jerseys? Not so good.

Why not have a sex crimes detective wear a Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger jersey? He has been accused of sexual assault twice in his career. Maybe a Crimes Against Children detective could wear an Adrian Peterson jersey. Maybe a detective investigating animal abuse could wear a Michael Vick jersey. The list goes on and on, as do the dumb ideas from Mayor Keller's office. For Keller it’s all PR all the time.

The football jersey order is stupid. Allowing detectives to wear football jerseys makes the officer/detective appear less than professional to the public he is serving. It’s been almost forty years since I went through the APD academy, but I still remember the academy instructors demanding that our uniforms be perfect. Why? Because when you put on that badge, whether in uniform or in detectives, you are representing the entire city of Albuquerque. You are an ambassador to our city and therefore you must represent it with pride. Football jersey Friday doesn’t reflect pride, it reflects a mayor that is out of solutions so everything he does now is to further his PR political career. That’s a disservice to Albuquerque citizens.

APD has some big issues in front of it. Allowing detectives and officers to not represent our city in a professional manner will only make those issues grow. A police officer should take pride in wearing the uniform. A detective should take pride in wearing in wearing a suit or other professional attire. APD isn’t a fast-food restaurant or brewery, officers and detectives must hold themselves to a higher standard, and part of that is their appearance. Your appearance reflects your attitude. Professional attire equals professional actions.

Keller must stop treating APD policy as a public relations stunt for his political career. Albuquerque citizens deserve professionalism from their police department and mayor. Albuquerque police officers are professionals who deserve a professional mayor.

As of now, a professional Albuquerque's mayor has been missing, or he is incognito in sunglasses and a hat, sitting at Coronado Park?


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