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City creates monitoring team for police reform

By Stephanie Muñiz

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    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — Over the past few years, the Albuquerque Police Department has been paying a monitor millions of dollars under the department settlement agreement. The city of Albuquerque is now setting up its own monitoring team.

“This now sets us up going forward to not have the consent decree and to not have a monitor,” Mayor Tim Keller said.

Three people were hired to internally monitor the agreement process.

The monitors are focused on looking at police training, discipline and misconduct and use of force. Two of the monitors are former judges. The idea came from the current city chief administration officers.

“The mayor tasked me to come up with something to keep accountability,” said Bob White, the associate chief administration officer for police reform.

Some of the factors included, who would be part of the monitoring team, who is familiar with the justice system and Albuquerque challenges.

One of the monitors is a use-of-force expert from Nevada.

“That choice was made explicitly to make sure we have one of the monitors have an external perspective but specifically for use of force,” Keller said.

One of the monitors, Victor Valdez, was previously superintendent of police reform for Albuquerque.

That position will now be taken over by a sworn-in officer.

“We looked at it and said it looks like we could do a better job if I just became a monitoring position as an independent person versus being the superintendent itself and not being able to handle the discipline itself,” Valdez said.

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