FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 5, 2016
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that as chair of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board, he appointed a subcommittee to review current policies and procedures utilized by New Mexico law enforcement agencies when they respond to and investigate officer-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents. The subcommittee will review and audit all policies and procedures currently in place and make recommendations to ensure timeliness, transparency, and uniform accountability across New Mexico law enforcement agencies. The review will include over 190 law enforcement agencies in the state.
“Officer-involved shootings can have devastating consequences for both the civilian and law enforcement communities,” said Attorney General Balderas. “My office has reviewed this issue for over a year, and during that time we studied the methodology of other states, met with impacted families, and created a strategic approach for moving forward. We believe that following an incident, officers, families, and the public deserve a process they can trust, starting with the investigation. Good investigations depend on sound, consistent policies, and that is why I called for this review.”
The subcommittee will conduct its review in the first half of 2017 and present its report and recommendations to the full board at the June 2017 meeting.
Balderas continued, “This statewide review is the first step in what must be a multi-faceted and collaborative process that involves the input of all affected parties. There is no simple way to address this critical public safety issue, and I am committed to promoting consistent processes that advance integrity and transparency across New Mexico law enforcement agencies.”
About the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board:
The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board was created in 1969 to promulgate qualifications for hiring and standards for training New Mexico law enforcement officers and telecommunication officers. Oversight of the Law Enforcement Academy operations, revocation or suspension of certifications for officer misconduct, and direction for in-service training of officers are but a few of the many responsibilities of the board.
The Law Enforcement Academy Board consists of the Attorney General, who serves as chairman, a certified tribal or pueblo police chief, a municipal police chief, a county sheriff, a state police officer, a district attorney, a line level officer of the rank of sergeant or below, and two citizen representatives. The board meets a minimum of four times a year to conduct business.
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