SANTA FE, N.M. — A survey of members of the Santa Fe Police Officers Association shows dissatisfaction with Chief Ray Rael.
The survey polled more than 90 of the association’s approximately 135 members in February, said union president Adam Gallegos, who said the results were sent to Mayor David Coss. Gallegos said this wasn’t a vote of “no confidence” in the chief, but rather was a “gauge” of the opinions of the rank and file.
“(We wanted to see) whether we should continue course or change strategy,” Gallegos said.
The survey states that more than 75 percent of members said “no” when asked whether they were confident in the direction of the department, whether they thought Rael had a clear mission for the agency, whether Rael’s administration was trustworthy, and whether they thought Rael was capable of leading the department to meet the demands of the future.
The survey also asked members about their morale. On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being lowest morale and 10 the highest, 74 percent polled within 1 to 5. About 26 percent placed themselves within 6-10.
Rael said he hasn’t gotten a copy of the survey from the union. He said from what he’s heard of the questions that the survey is difficult to interpret.
“I’m not sure what to make of it,” he said. “Quite honestly, the questions seem general and vague. There’s no specifics I can really look at and evaluate.”
More details were not included on the survey results, but Gallegos said members want to see more done about narcotics crimes in Santa Fe. They’re concerned over what Gallegos said was disparity of treatment in discipline in the department. And, he said, officers want more staffing and more of them with laptops in their cruisers.
Rael has talked previously about working with Coss on a drug-diversion program targeting offenders with drug problems, which he said was a major factor in the city’s burglary problem.
Gallegos said the department’s five-day-a-week, eight-hours-a-day shifts could be a factor in low morale, although Rael said the five-day shifts help out with manpower and keeping down overtime costs.