APD no longer allowed to carry personal weapons

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – News 13 learned Albuquerque police will no longer be able to carry their own personal guns while on duty.

Chief Gorden Eden is ordering officers to only carry guns given to them by the department.

Officers were allowed to carry guns they bought instead of using the guns given to them by the department.

That’s lead to some questions about several shootings, and the DOJ called out the policy saying it lead to “officers seeing the guns as status symbols.”

Sources say Chief Eden sent the memo out Thursday.

It says APD is buying new Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter and Glock 9 millimeter handguns.

And once they all arrive all officers will be required to carry them on duty.

In the Department of Justice report released in April, it called out APD’s policy saying many officers often buy expensive, high-powered guns using their own money.

It also said “this fondness of powerful weaponry illustrates the aggressive culture.”

An attorney who is about to sue APD for the wrongful death of James Boyd, points out that one of the officers had bought a silencer for his gun.

Part of the lawsuit says, “the city’s policy on private weapons use has contributed to a culture of gun fetish that led to the death of Boyd.”

In a deadly 2011 police shooting, Officer Trey Econimidy came under fire for using a personal handgun not approved by the department when he shot and killed Jacob Mitschelen.

And, in 2010, in one of the most high profile police shootings, Brett Lampiris-tremba was using his own gun when he killed Iraq war veteran Kenneth Ellis.

The memo out to officers also says they’ll have to take classes and qualify on the new handguns.

Under the old policy, officers were supposed to get their personal guns approved through the department.

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