Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ABQ Journal: City Must Find Funds for Police Oversight

A city with a $450 million general fund budget ought to be able to scrape together $140,000 to hire two more investigators to probe citizen complaints against police.
The number of complaints filed with the city's Police Oversight Commission against city police officers has grown steadily since its inception in 1999. Last year, the agency investigated 307 cases.
Independent Review Officer Jay Rowland says his two investigators handled 271 cases in the first nine months of this year, and he expects they will handle up to 350 before the year ends.
Cases Rowland's investigators can't get to— and that has grown to more than 50 percent of the complaints— are handled by the Albuquerque Police Department's Internal Affairs office.
That's not the type of independent investigation citizens want. Indeed, Rowland cites a drop in "customer satisfaction" of citizens filing complaints.
The mayor and City Council should re-examine priorities and find $140,000 to reinforce Rowland's team.

No comments: