DIST. 5 COUNCIL CANDIDATE CATHERINE TRUJILLO RELEASES CRIME, APD REFORM PLAN
District 5 City Council Candidate, Catherine Trujillo, has released a Crime and APD Reform Plan:
“Crime is the most important issue facing Albuquerque. We have to reduce crime so that Albuquerque will flourish and our economy can grow.
First, the Albuquerque Police Department needs new leadership. I will demand that the administration conduct a nationwide search to find a qualified police chief who can rebuild this department from the ground up.
We need a Police Chief who will commit to our city for years to achieve our objectives. Those objectives include implementing the DOJ mandates, reforming the culture and transforming APD into a department that constitutionally polices our city.
We need more officers. Currently Albuquerque has 850 sworn officers but we only budget for 1,000. Once we get to 1,000 officers, the Chief will be expected to introduce a plan that will increase APD ranks to 1,300 officers, not the 1,200 that other candidates are demanding.
We are losing our most experienced officers and that needs to end. I will push for an increase in longevity pay to provide an incentive for them to stay on the job. We will increase compensation for officers who have been on the job from five to ten years to reduce lateral transfers to other departments.
I will look for savings in the budget to pay for incentives. If we cannot find the necessary resources to protect our city with cuts in other areas, I will support sending a public safety tax increase to the voters.
Once we have the resources in place, APD must implement community policing. APD needs to engage the community, speaking at high schools and community events, so the department can attract officers from across the city. Currently, we only have one recruiter who handles hundreds of job interest cards and follow-up for potential candidates. We need at least two full time recruitment officers until we reach 1,300 officers.
If the new chief does not get staffing levels to 1,000 officers in two years, I will support a charter amendment that allows six City Councilors to fire the Police Chief. Council needs to implement a strong oversight process and take action if crime is not cut. I will take action.
I will sponsor legislation that will create a Public Safety Committee. The Committee will have three City Councilors, one Deputy Chief, one member of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and one member from a Civil Rights Organization. They will be tasked with reviewing the progress of the Albuquerque Police Department. A report will be delivered to the full City Council every three months.
Once we have reached 1,300 officers and fully implemented the DOJ mandates, the Public Safety Committee will disband. We do not need a permanent expansion of the bureaucracy at City Hall, but aggressive oversight is currently needed.