An annual survey showed – once again – that many Albuquerque police officers are not happy in their jobs and feel unsupported by the city. According to the data, they are even less happy than last year.
The survey, released Friday by the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, found that 85% of those surveyed have considered leaving the force, 89% do not feel supported by command staff, 94% do not approve of Police Chief Harold Medina and 98% do not feel supported by Mayor Tim Keller’s administration.
Medina fired back on Twitter Friday night writing, “It’s unfortunate but obvious why union leadership released a misleading survey just prior to an election.”
Of the 421 officers who responded to the survey, 42% said Department of Justice reform efforts are the main contributing factor to the city’s crime problem and 24% said it was “justice system problems” while only 5% said lack of officers. The survey was sent to 823 officers.
APOA President Shaun Willoughby said stagnant recruiting, DOJ reform efforts and the Keller administration have brought morale to its lowest levels yet.
“These are actual police officers, the men and women that are keeping this community safe at night, and this is how they feel. Let’s take it seriously, for the first time ever, and let’s try to fix it,” he said.
Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the department has been up front about officers’ dissatisfaction with the DOJ reforms and “focus on discipline.” He said, at the same time, the federal monitor’s report continually criticizes the department’s inaction on discipline.
Gallegos said APD is working with the DOJ and congressional delegation to “push back against unreasonable demands from the monitoring team, while working toward compliance and lasting reform.”
Ava Montoya, a Keller spokeswoman, said the administration continues its strong support for officers and has made “some of the largest investments in recent history.”
“Although this is a self-selecting survey that has reflected similar opinions over multiple administrations, it underscores what we know is a very difficult time to be in law enforcement,” she said.
Willoughby said there was no political motivation behind releasing the survey results four days before the mayoral election. He said the APOA is not endorsing any candidate at this time.
Medina, in his Twitter post, said he knows officers are frustrated “but I’d like to thank the administration and city council for their support and funding.”