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Editorial: Union-City Teamwork Takes Down Bad Policy

So much for the cynical view that union leaders and public employers can’t have the same goal.

The new leadership of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association and Mayor Richard Berry dispelled that with a unified front that restores integrity to officers who are caught in the most challenging situation of their careers while also healing public trust in the force.

Granted, it took public outcry, national media attention and a new union leadership, but the two sides came together to end cash payments to officers involved in shootings.

Interim union president APD Sgt. Greg Weber has replaced the cash payments — what critics said amounted to a “bounty” — with a case-by-case examination of police shootings by the union board that could result in additional counseling and/or reimbursement for travel, food and hotel stays for the officers involved. That policy more directly addresses the issues officers who have had to fire their service weapons are facing, rather than setting them up to look like they’re cashing in on the toughest decision of their careers.

So while the police union continues to disagree with the city over ongoing contract issues, the civilians those union members have sworn to serve and protect can take heart that serving and protecting are all officers are paid to do.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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