More training on the way for APD officers

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police are about to take a big step toward addressing concerns raised in the damning report from the Department of Justice on APD’s use of force.

Increased training to deal with the mentally ill is about to begin. It’s known as Crisis Intervention Training and the first round begins Monday. Eventually, all APD officers out in the field will receive it.

“I have to ensure that every officer on this department is accountable,” said Deputy Chief Bob Huntsman.

It’s a big task for Huntsman, the former APD commander brought back to the force to help oversee changes in light of the recent Department of Justice report that slammed the department.

“We have all got to work together to come up with solutions that will help us make the reforms and change,” Huntsman said.

One of those changes – give all APD officers who interact with the public increased Crisis Intervention Training.

“There are a couple major challenges for law enforcement officers,” Dr. Troy Rodgers said.

Dr. Rodgers, a police psychologist, will oversee that training.

“Police officers are one of the few folks who deal with folks in crisis or people that are mentally ill who don’t have to have a specialized license or degree,” Dr. Rodgers said.

In their time at the police academy, cadets get 55 hours of basic Crisis Intervention Training. Now, they’ll get an additional 40 hours, including training in de-escalation techniques.

Currently, only 27 percent of officers have already received that extra certification.

“We put the class participants in the midst of the situation in a controlled environment so we can critique it,” Dr. Rodgers said. “We can practice it without the potential for negative outcome.”

Huntsman says the clock is ticking on every call.

“What we’re looking for is to get a quicker response that as soon as a call comes out that involves someone in crisis, that whichever officer shows up is trained in that.”

APD has come under scrutiny in recent years for how officers deal with the mentally ill, most recently for the shooting of James Boyd in the Albuquerque foothills last month.

Ten CIT classes are scheduled through this year and an additional eight next year. Each one costs up to $25,000 dollars.

When it comes to the DOJ report as a whole, Huntsman says his outlook is positive. He says they’re going over all of their policies and procedures to make the necessary changes. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s