APD graduates 30 new police officers - Albuquerque Journal

APD graduates 30 new police officers

Albuquerque Police Department’s cadet class No. 116 graduated Thursday, adding 30 officers to the department and two to the Rio Rancho police ranks, bringing the total graduated from the academy for 2016 to 93, the most in at least 10 years.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden told the crowd and new officers that “passion and compassion” are necessary for the job.

“If you ever feel you are losing one of these … turn to” a mentor a leader because “when you lose that sense of passion, your compass doesn’t point north,” Eden said.

Among the 30 new APD officers are the stepson of Gov. Susana Martinez and the son of injured officer Lou Golson. His daughter, Elisa Valdez, also is an APD officer, and his other son, Scott Golson, is a sheriff’s deputy. Son Adam Golson graduated Thursday.

“I’m so proud of all three of them, taking on the torch,” said Lou Golson, who was shot in the line of duty in 2015. Golson’s last duty was pinning Adam’s badge in the ceremony.

APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said Golson retired Thursday, and “pinning on his son’s badge was his final official duty with the Albuquerque Police Department.”

The 93 academy graduates this year is the most in one year in at least a decade, and the March class included the largest number ever of female officers – 10 out of 36 cadets – in a class, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said.

Albuquerque police officer Lou Golson, second from right, stands with his oldest son and graduating officer Adam Golson, right, during the graduation of APD's 116th cadet class Thursday.(Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)
Albuquerque police officer Lou Golson, second from right, stands with his oldest son and graduating officer Adam Golson, right, during the graduation of APD’s 116th cadet class Thursday.(Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

This class brings APD’s number of sworn officers to 846, she said. The department is allotted for 1,000 officers.

The additional officers join a department under pressure to add personnel and under federal investigation for having a culture of aggression that led to a spate of officer-involved shootings, and most recently an investigation into allegations of tampering with lapel camera videos of shootings.

The department has been vocal about its low staffing levels in the past few years. The officer shortage has been compounded by a wave of retirements in the months after the launch of the Department of Justice investigation and oversight.

Photographer Marla Brose contributed to this report.

 

 

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