The Albuquerque Internal Affairs Force Division is split with 18 civilians and 19 sworn staff — which a spokeswoman said ensures both perspectives are represented. They are being trained by the External Force Investigation Team out of Florida, an effort that has won praise from the DOJ and the Independent Monitor.
Advocates for police reform like the hiring of civilians, too — Peter Simonson, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and a member of the APD Forward coalition, called it “one of the few bright spots in APD’s journey.”
“Not only have they helped the department fill investigator positions that uniformed officers have been unwilling to take, but we believe they may break down some of the ‘Blue Wall’ syndrome that has contributed to weak investigations and lack of accountability within the department,” Simonson said.
He said that it’s critical for investigations into an officer’s use of force to be “thorough, impartial and completed in a timely manner” — something APD had historically struggled with.
Read the full article by Elise Kaplan, Journal Staff Writer on Albuquerque Journal: