ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, Albuquerque community leaders and a broad spectrum of New Mexico-based organizations announced the launch of the APD Forward campaign, a community-driven effort to hold the City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) accountable for implementing reforms of the city’s police department. APD Forward will serve as a powerful, targeted platform for Albuquerque communities to press for sustainable reforms of APD policies and procedures.
“The time has come for communities across the city to join together in pressing for crucial reforms so APD officers can safely and responsibly protect the people of Albuquerque,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “This is our best opportunity in decades to move the APD and our city forward so that the people of Albuquerque can believe in their police department again.”
In recent weeks, a Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation confirmed that longstanding deficiencies in oversight, training and polices have allowed a culture of aggression and a sense of impunity to thrive within the Albuquerque Police Department. APD officers frequently use excessive force against people who pose a minimal threat, including those who are unarmed or suffering from mental illness. To help fix these serious issues, the APD Forward campaign will use advocacy, community organizing, and public education to accomplishing the following four objectives:
- Achieve a court enforced agreement between the Department of Justice and the Albuquerque Police Department that ensures that the reforms we need are fully implemented.
- Obtain the appointment of a qualified, independent monitoring team to oversee compliance with the court-ordered agreement.
- Ensure that the City of Albuquerque dedicates adequate resources to fully fund the necessary reforms.
- Obtain sustained evidence that the City of Albuquerque and APD is complying with the reform agreement and taking real, concrete steps to address the problems uncovered by the Department of Justice investigation.
“Right now, many Albuquerque residents are justifiably angry that the political process has failed to bring about long overdue reforms to our police department,” said Strong Families Field Director Adriann Barboa. “The APD Forward campaign is dedicated to addressing the systemic problems within our police department that were highlighted by the Department of Justice. These problems are daunting, but we know they can be fixed if we work together.”
For more news and campaign updates, visit APD Forward online at www.APDforward.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/APDforward, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/APDforward.
APD Forward Partners
Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico
Disability Rights New Mexico
Equality New Mexico
La Mesa Presbyterian Church
League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico
National Association of Social Workers – New Mexico Chapter
Native American Voters Alliance
New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Fabrizio Bertoletti – former Police Oversight Task Force member
Rev. Susan Allison-Hatch – Missionary to the Homeless, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande