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APD leadership scores poorly in survey

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A survey of Albuquerque police supervisors by a leadership consulting firm turned up some unflattering results, but police officials said there’s reason to think the results were skewed.

Late last year, Albuquerque police’s lieutenants, commanders, civilian managers and executive staff were surveyed by GiANT Worldwide, a company that tries to improve leadership within organizations.

The groups of employees and officers rated their “overall team health” as a D, F, F, and C, respectively, according to the survey results, which were obtained by the Journal under an Inspection of Public Records Act request.

But Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said that instead of just surveying supervisors, the surveys were sent to all civilian and sworn employees.

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Surveys were collected from 50 people who said they were on the “executive staff,” of which there are only eight high-ranking officers. Surveys also were collected from 136 “lieutenants.” The department has 23 officers at that rank, Eden said.

The chief said the survey also allowed people to vote multiple times.

“Even ‘American Idol’ doesn’t let you vote more than 10 times,” Eden said, referring to the singing competition TV show.

The survey quizzed police officers and employees on a variety of topics, such as communication and synergy within the department. The voting was anonymous.

Though Eden said there’s reason to be skeptical of the survey for those reasons, GiANT officials said the police department’s results were on par with surveys taken at other organizations.

“As for encouragement, please understand the results we shared with you are not unlike the results we have seen in other organizations and agencies we work with,” Dan Huckins, a senior associate for the company, said in a letter to the police’s executive staff.

Huckins said the initial survey is meant to serve as a “baseline” so the company can gauge improvement over time.

Eden said the police are working with GiANT to try to bring leadership training to the department that is different than regular law enforcement supervisor training. He said leadership consulting provided by GiANT resembles training offered to business leaders.

Eden said it’s important for the department to provide its supervisors and leaders with different types of training as they try to implement a series of court-enforceable reforms, which are being implemented as a result of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Albuquerque police that found a pattern of excessive force.

“We’re just trying to crack a different egg,” Eden said.


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