After nine years of court oversight, Albuquerque Police now in full compliance with reforms

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Police Department is now in full compliance with reforms ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice and that paves the way for the end of nine years of court oversight, authorities said Monday.

The assessment came from a court-appointed, independent monitor who been overseeing compliance with the Justice Department decree since 21015.

The DOJ released findings of its Albuquerque police investigation in 2014, the same year the department came under intense scrutiny for use of force and the number of officer-involved shootings.

But over the past nine years, authorities said Albuquerque’s police force made major strides toward achieving compliance with all officers equipped with body-worn cameras, increased crisis intervention training and a new policing reform office.

The city and the police department will now enter a two-year period during which they must demonstrate their ability to sustain the reforms mandated by the agreement.

Police officials said the department can start monitoring itself as long as it sustains compliance with the requirements.

“The road to get here has not been easy, but we never gave up,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “We believed that real reform was possible.”

Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico emphasized the crucial need for continued vigilance by Albuquerque police to safeguard the protection of community members’ rights and safety.

Keller and police Chief Harold Medina plan to hold a news conference Friday to discuss the DOJ settlement agreement and the city’s next steps for reform.


This story has been corrected to show an independent monitor was court-appointed and not hired by the city.