The new training partnership between the Albuquerque Police Department and the University of New Mexico’s School of Public Administration promises to do more than just plug a training vacuum for mid-level police managers. It promises to bring a data-driven, academic approach to supervision in what has been a paramilitary organization under fire for excessive use of force.
APD is under a U.S. Department of Justice microscope for a possible pattern of civil rights violations regarding use of force including 25 officer shootings since 2010. Eighteen of those were fatal.
And while APD Chief Ray Schultz recently changed protocol and now requires a supervisor to respond to a scene that could turn lethal to help defuse the situation, that supervisor deserves to have as much training as possible.
On the flip side, UNM students deserve to hear from supervisors who are expected to remain cool in pressure-cooker situations.
So the one-year partnership – struck by APD Police Academy training director Joe Wolf and UNM professor Bruce Perlman – looks like a win-win for both organizations. It’s important the city and university revisit it in 2014 to see how it scores not only with participants but their employers and employees as well.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.