ABQ City Council set to take stance on police chief’s performance

The Albuquerque City Council is slated to convene on Wednesday to determine their stance on Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. Councilor Louie Sanchez, a former APD officer, has raised the question of a vote of no confidence, emphasizing that such a vote would convey a “clear message.”

“We’re done with no accountability. We’re done with no transparency,” stated Sanchez, underlining the necessity to rebuild public trust in the police department.

Sanchez’s call has prompted Chief Medina to appear at the council meeting to field inquiries. An APD spokesperson, Franchesca Perdue, confirmed Medina’s attendance and readiness to provide insights into crime-fighting efforts and the department’s positive trajectory.

According to the city charter, a two-thirds majority vote from the Council can oust a police chief, provided there’s substantial cause. Even if the no confidence vote falls short, Sanchez intends to persist in his endeavors, potentially advocating for changes to the city charter.

While specific alterations weren’t outlined, Sanchez expressed willingness to collaborate with fellow councilors. Previously, Sanchez and councilor Renee Grout attempted to amend the city government structure from a strong to weak mayor system, albeit unsuccessfully.

Scrutiny of the law enforcement agency and its leadership began in January, following federal raids on the homes of three APD officers and a local attorney’s office. This was amid revelations of numerous DWI dismissals involving five officers, leading to over 190 dismissed cases. The officers implicated in the DWI unit resigned after being placed on administrative leave pending an internal inquiry by APD’s Internal Affairs Division.

In another development in February, Chief Medina was involved in a vehicle collision, injuring Todd Perchert. Perchert, speaking about his injuries, announced plans for legal action against the city, represented by attorney James Tawney.

Despite these challenges, the City Council narrowly voted against initiating a multi-agency investigation into Medina’s crash in March. This tumultuous period follows APD’s attainment of its highest level of compliance with the court-approved settlement agreement, or CASA, in November 2023. However, Sanchez voiced concerns that these recent events might jeopardize the prospect of concluding the CASA agreement.

“DOJ is probably not going anywhere,” remarked Sanchez, hinting at the ongoing oversight from the Department of Justice.


5 thoughts on “ABQ City Council set to take stance on police chief’s performance”

  1. I want to have faith in Chief Medina’s professionalism, but I also believe he must be held accountable for his actions, including the car crash, and also for the actions of his officers.

  2. APD is sorta in the …Grey Zone.
    Its police chief is well mannered in front of television cameras.
    His emergency driving skills and tactics sorta …well…. suck.
    So we got…well mannered & sucking. It would be different if he sucked in front of the cameras and then had well mannered emergency driving tactics.
    Working in a large agency such as APD, for 20 some odd years, and never hearing even a rumor about a Cop/Attorney DWI pay off scheme is worrisome.
    Amazing what someone will do for $500 bucks isn’t it?

  3. Until we get rid of Keller and all his comrades, nothing will change. And the fact that the law changed for our police officers that a person can sue them, well…. we will always be understaffed. I pray for our police officers that the Lord protects them. And tougher laws are needed.

  4. Medina should have been fired mainly because of his bad decisions that caused an accident that almost killed someone. Medina had his wife in the car when he decided to stop and confront some people;That was mistake number one; Next he panicked when he thought he was being shot at; Mistake #2; Mistake 3 was darting through a red light and almost killing an innocent civilian; There should be no place for him on the police force after such unprofessional and cowardly behavior. He should have been immediately suspended.

  5. I’ve always questioned how ,or why Medina was given the privi of being Chief. I’m thinking Pretty Boy Keller was told by the piglet Loserjan he needed to choose Medina..

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