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Albuquerque Police Officers Association Sound Alarm Over Governor’s Emergency Health Order

Posted By: ABQ RAW Staff

Posted On: 09/09/2023 @ 10:15AM

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APD officers arrest a triple homicide suspect who used a gun in the killing of the three people.


In a move that has stirred up controversy and drawn sharp criticism from both political parties, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham recently enacted an emergency health order aimed at addressing gun violence in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While the intention to tackle the crime crisis in the city is admirable, the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) believes this approach is not only ineffective, but it also infringes upon the civil rights of citizens.

A Misguided Emergency Health Order

The APOA expresses deep concern and alarm over Governor Lujan-Grisham's emergency health order, which they view as a clear violation of civil rights. Their primary contention is that the order places law enforcement officers at odds with their sworn oath to uphold both the State of New Mexico and United States Constitutions.

Shaun Willoughby, President of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, asserts that the order does little to address the underlying issues causing crime in the city. Willoughby argues that it amounts to little more than a "pathetic public relations stunt" and does not offer any meaningful solutions to the surge in crime. Willoughby said, “there is no doubt that we are dealing with an out-of-control crime crisis in the city of Albuquerque, but this order does nothing to curb or address crime. There are countless ways the Governor could address this crisis that would be impactful and meaningful."

The 2nd Amendment Rights Controversy

One of the central concerns raised by the APOA is the violation of citizens' 2nd Amendment rights. They argue that the emergency order essentially asks law enforcement officers to infringe upon these rights, which could expose officers, police agencies, and communities to civil litigation.

The APOA strongly believes that the Governor does not have the authority to disregard both the New Mexico Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. The APOA expresses hope that her action will face legal challenges.

Lack of Leadership and Alternative Solutions

The APOA places blame on the Governor's lack of leadership for the ongoing crime crisis in Albuquerque. They argue that tough-on-crime measures and upholding existing laws, rather than resorting to emergency orders, would be more effective in addressing the situation.

Willoughby draws parallels with Governor Lujan-Grisham's past actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that this latest move is reminiscent of her prior unconstitutional overreach. Willoughby stated, “this desperate attempt harkens back to Governor Lujan-Grisham’s unconstitutional overreach during the COVID pandemic, and it should be extremely concerning to any citizen in this community. There is no doubt we need help in the City of Albuquerque, but why not hold criminals accountable, or use emergency order powers to halt the Department of Justice Decent Decree, so officers can do their jobs.”

Alternative Solutions Recommended by APOA To Help Address Crime in Albuquerque

In light of their concerns, the APOA encourages its officers to uphold their oath of office and continue to stand firm against all forms of crime. They also propose alternative measures to address the crime crisis in the city:

1. No Bail for Felons in Possession of Firearms: The APOA suggests that anyone committing a felony while in possession of a firearm should be held without bail, discouraging repeat offenses.

2. Automatic Arrest for Any Drug Crimes: To combat drug-related crimes, the APOA advocates for automatic arrest in drug-related cases, sending a strong message against drug-related activities.

3. Support for CYFD: The APOA recommends providing support to the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) to address issues concerning teenagers leaving foster homes at the age of 14 with insufficient follow-up or recourse.

4. Arrest for Misdemeanors: Embracing a "tough on crime" approach, the APOA suggests making arrests for misdemeanor offenses to deter lawbreaking.


The Albuquerque Police Officers Association goes on to say it is deeply concerned about the emergency health order implemented by Governor Lujan-Grisham. They contend that it not only fails to address the city's crime crisis effectively but also encroaches upon the rights of citizens. As they call for legal challenges to the order, the APOA also presents alternative measures that they believe could make a more significant impact on curbing crime in Albuquerque. The debate over these issues is likely to continue, with a focus on finding comprehensive, effective solutions to the city's crime problems while respecting citizens' rights and law enforcement duties.

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