END OF AN ERA?: DOJ Oversight of APD Could Come to a Close Soon

Last week, after a decade of U.S. Department of Justice oversight, the Albuquerque Police Department announced it had reached full compliance with DOJ-required reforms.

APD has been under a court-approved settlement agreement, or CASA, since 2015. The agreement followed a DOJ investigation into the 20 fatal shootings by APD between 2009 and 2013, which found that such a level of force was not justified in a majority of those cases.

The latest report noted the agreement’s major concerns have been addressed. Use of force has decreased by 37% since November 2020, according to the Albuquerque Journal. However, the independent monitor said there are still areas of improvement for the department, including understaffing and heavy caseloads at the Civilian Police Oversight Agency.

The agreement requires 95% operational compliance, which measures the extent to which officers follow policies, and what the consequences are when there are breaches. Per the report, APD’s operational compliance sits at 96%, with 100% primary compliance, relating to policies and procedures, and 100% secondary compliance, relating to officer training. This is not quite the end – for the city to exit the consent decree, APD will have to maintain this compliance for two more years.

The Chamber has been a vocal advocate for the end of this oversight for years – a process that has been costly in terms of fiscal resources and sworn officers’ time. We’re pleased there’s an end in sight, and we’re committed to supporting APD and the city of Albuquerque as they work to demonstrate their readiness to continue important policing reform efforts on their own.

Read the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of the historic milestone here and here, or read the full report here.

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