There has been a lot of debate about whether an “insider” should run the Albuquerque Police Department during these turbulent times when public scrutiny of law enforcement is at a peak across the nation. My community’s experience with Harold Medina suggests this particular insider is exactly what we need in Albuquerque.
Harold Medina is one of us. He is homegrown, growing up in Taos and raising a family here in Albuquerque. He knows this community on all levels. To all of us who work in the community, that is a very strong and important point. He values family, neighbors and community. He understands our city, our people, our diverse cultures and our issues.
As the president of the Alamosa Neighborhood Association in the Southwest Mesa, I have worked with many police officers over the years. Harold stood out as a leader as he worked up the APD ranks from patrol officer to sergeant to lieutenant to commander. He became part of the community, and even as a deputy chief and now the interim chief of police, he still keeps in touch.
Medina has a real grasp on what community policing should be. Besides being a strong leader, he has a friendly manner and is easy to get along with, which proves to be a very important asset while working with neighborhoods and on a grassroots level.
Albuquerque has always had its challenges with crime. I respect that Medina owns up to those challenges, and he supports his officers as they work with those of us at the neighborhood level to keep our streets safe. He also understands the value of working with government leaders in the city, county and state, as well as the criminal justice system as a whole and the unsung heroes at nonprofits who provide services to the people. It takes all of us working together to overcome the poverty, addiction and lack of services to treat mental illness.
I trust Medina to keep us safe because he has the experience. Property crime went down when he was in charge of that unit a decade ago. After he left, the unit was disbanded as APD lost hundreds of officers. It’s no surprise property crime went up, along with violent crime. It’s also no surprise that property crime is once again going down with Medina in charge. I’m confident (with) his focus on gun violence, and especially victims of gun violence, (that) violent crime will go down as well.
Our neighborhood has worked with him and watched him grow. He is a decisive leader who has the integrity to move APD forward and keep the focus on fighting crime and community policing.