ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rob Perry, the city of Albuquerque’s top administrator, was sitting for an on-camera interview with a KRQE-TV reporter and producer when he was asked whether he thought it was the right call to send an undercover officer from the Albuquerque Police Department’s criminal intelligence unit to do surveillance on an anti-APD protest, considering “there’s deep distrust within the community with the Police Department and the administration.”
Perry, who is a lawyer and the state’s former prisons boss, stuck his chin out a bit and said, “I don’t think that the overall community in Albuquerque has great distrust (of APD). It may be that way in your newsroom, but I’m not so sure that the community has that distrust. I think that the overall community has a great deal of trust and support for the Albuquerque Police Department.”
His comment came after a damning report on APD from the U.S. Department of Justice that criticized the Police Department’s training, leadership and use of force, after weeks of public demonstrations and an attempted takeover of the Mayor’s Office, after marathon gripe sessions before the City Council and public opinion polls showing that trust and confidence in the police is falling.
As public relations man Tom Garrity, who was recently hired by Albuquerque city councilors on a $25,000 contract to help shine up their public image in this mess, said of APD when I asked him for his take, “It’s the dog days of summer, and they’re the dog.”