OPINION: New City Council Wants Answers and Real Numbers
OPINION BY ABQ RAW CONTRIBUTORS
DANIEL KLEIN & CHARLES ARASIM
Posted 2/9/2022 11:18AM
APD Police Chief Harold Medina
Every citizen of Albuquerque should watch, and suffer through, the hour long back and forth between the Albuquerque City Council and Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. It would be considered penitence for allowing our city to drift into the lawless mess that we now live in.
Here are just a few of the highlights, and lowlights:
The Albuquerque Fire Response Chief looks sharp. He represents AFR and the city very well. He showed respect to the city council by showing up in his regular uniform. Then we have APD Chief Harold Medina, who once again shows how little he respects the citizens, his police officers and the city council members by showing up in his same old wrinkled polo shirt. Good God Harold, you are making $200,000 or more now thanks to the citizens of Albuquerque, you could at least show a little bit of thanks and respect by appearing in public in a class A uniform. The city council members were all dressed in either suits or professional attire. I hope, plead, beg, that Council Lewis and Councilor Sanchez will call Medina out publicly for disrespecting all of us the next time he appears before them in that dirty wrinkled polo shirt. APD officers can’t take pride in who they represent when their chief of police doesn’t take pride in his appearance.
Once again we have city councilors, who have been on the council for years, professing ignorance of how APD works, the consent decree, crime, etc. If they haven’t figured some of this out by now, maybe they should step down and let someone else step up.
Councilor Lewis and Sanchez are a breath of fresh air on the council. They actually understand what has happened and is happening at APD and they held Medina’s feet to the fire. I just hope Harold was wearing pants (probably those dirty green utility pants he wears everywhere). The very first issue that Medina had to dance around was his continually growing command staff. Medina’s command staff is so bloated it reminds me of The Blob, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It seems there are more Commanders and Deputy Commanders than officers in any given squad. To say APD is top heavy is to state the obvious. We have fewer officers taking calls but more commanders getting huge salaries and sit on their butts.
Medina does say his officers are hard working. Then he says they are not hard working. Then he says some of them are and some of them aren’t. Medina contradicts himself so frequently during this hour long meeting that I have to ask is this guy really the best person for chief? In listening to his answers I don’t think he knows up from down, or down from up. He tries to baffle with bullshit, but It’s Harold who ends up looking very confused.
Medina then says that he has told his officers that now that they have a good pay package they need to get back to work. What? You mean the chief of police is admitting that he allowed his officers to not work to protect this city for the last couple years? Medina doesn’t just say this once, he says this over and over, to the point that Councilor Sanchez asks Medina if he has issued a special order telling his officers to stop being lazy and to go back to work! This is unbelievable! Is this a reason why crime is out of control? Because Medina has allowed his officers to take their city paychecks and do nothing for it? I think Senator Cervantes had it right, crime in Albuquerque is Albuquerque’s problem and it starts with Medina.
Councilor Lewis asked, and Medina confirmed, that Medina and his bloated command staff all received pay raises along with the officers. That makes me want to puke. You are supposed to get a pay raise for a job well done, but Medina stats repeatedly that officers are lazy and he did nothing about it. And yet Keller gave him more of our money.
Lastly, it was nice to hear from Councilor Pena and to know that she is firmly a pawn for the Keller administration. Her glowing comments on how great APD is doing in her district defies reality. Crime in her district is out of control, there have been murders up and down west Central Avenue. When I hear Councilor Pena speak so glowingly of APD I just wonder what job in the Keller administration she is interviewing for.
Current staffing at APD has 897 officers (Chief to Patrolman) and 46 cadets. APD is authorized 1,200 officers. You do the math.
Welcome to the next four years of Keller’s crime fighting plan.
A big thanks to Charles Arasim who allowed us to use his video footage.