APD ‘pilot program’ affects warrants, timeliness

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque police are trying out something new that could make their jobs easier and cut down on lawsuits. It would take longer to put the bad guys behind bars, though.

Knowledge is power. And for police, so is staying one step ahead of the criminals. That’s why APD is trying something a little different when it comes to warrants.

“The goal is to get that information sent back and forth and look at those descriptors and look at that individual and get a better understanding of who that person is,” officer Simon Drobik said.

Police say when someone is taken into custody on a warrant, they may have the same name, height or physical features as someone else.

They want to make sure they’re busting the right person the first time.

“This does take a little bit more time, but it does give us more description so we do know who that person is,” Drobik said.

It’s tough to say just how much longer it could take – here’s why.

Officer Drobik says whenever someone gets in trouble, they’ll see if there’s a warrant out. They would usually just get basic info back, like their physical characteristic, and then make an arrest.

But now, under the new program, an officer has to send an email to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and wait for an email back.

APD records then has to be notified. Finally, a real-time warrant is sent to the officer in the field.

“This gives us a better picture of who that person is that we’re dealing with,” Drobik said.

Drobik says this also helps cut down on identity theft, or someone trying to pass of as someone else.

As of now, only officers in the southeast command center are giving this a shot. Drobik says it’s been going on for the last couple of weeks, again, as a somewhat of an experiment.

“If we find out it’s not working properly, obviously we’ll explore different ideas.”

The department says if they need to arrest someone on the spot, they can still bypass the new procedures.

After the trial run, police will look at the results to see how effective it is.

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