ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry made it clear Friday: he wants to play nice with the Justice Department.
The city has tapped former Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher and Scott Greenwood, a former ACLU attorney, to negotiate with the DOJ on Albuquerque’s behalf and hammer out reforms for the Albuquerque Police Department.
The men worked together when DOJ investigators found Cincinnati Police officers used too much force, too often.
“Not only did we fix issues involving officer-involved shootings and other controversial issues, but we changed the relationship between the police and the community,” Greenwood said.
The DOJ came down hard on APD Thursday, calling for top to bottom change. The Feds found officers use excessive force, aren’t held accountable by supervisors, and need to change the culture of the department.
Now begins a lengthy process. First the city and DOJ will come to the table with ideas on how to reform APD. When the two parties reach an agreement, they’ll pick a monitor who will make sure APD puts the changes in place and enforces them.
Greenwood says the findings look severe, but they’re fixable.
“It’s not to anybodys advantage, whether it’s the federal government or the city’s, if the city ends up with an impossible agreement it can’t possibly achieve,” Greenwood said. “Because it is more straightforward and fixable, it shouldn’t have the magnitude of expense some other cities have faced.”
The city says Greenwood and Streicher will initially work under a contract of up to $75,000 and they’ve hit the ground running; both met with the ACLU Friday afternoon.