Hint: Not the One with the Lapel Cam
BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI
Albuquerque Police Department policy requires all uniformed officers engaging with the public to wear lapel cameras as part of their required uniform. Violation for rank-and-file police officers -- the people who deal with the public every day -- merits discipline.
However, it appears that most APD brass believes the lapel-cam policy does not apply to them, based on photos taken at a recent community meeting.
Of the APD command staff in the accompanying photos, only one -- Major Jessica Tyler -- is wearing a lapel camera. The others, front row left to right are: Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman, Major Tim Gonterman, (and Tyler). Second row: Deputy Chief Eric Garcia and Major Arturo Gonzales.
Another photo shows Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden, also at the meeting, in uniform but without the required lapel camera.
The photos were taken Tuesday at a community meeting. The U.S. Department of Justice's monitor, James Ginger, reported to the constituents of City Councilor Don Harris on APD's progress in meeting the terms of the department's settlement of a lawsuit over its pattern of excessive use of force.
APD standard operating procedure requires all police who wear a uniform to wear the cameras. The policy defines the covered personnel as all who wear a "department-authorized uniform which displays a department patch" who are on duty "or performing law enforcement functions."
"All uniformed personnel (except crossing guards) will wear department-issued [cameras] while on duty or performing law enforcement functions," according to the SOP. None of the APD officials at the meeting appear to be crossing guards.
Whether the lapel cam must be on depends on the circumstance. "Department personnel that are not involved with direct interactions with witnesses/victims/suspects and are performing duties including, but not limited to, scene security, supervision, guard duty, holding a perimeter, etc., shall not be required to record these activities.," the SOP says.
Read the APD SOP here and decide whether the APD officials in the phtos are out of uniform.
The Who’s Out of Uniform? was originally published to Free ABQ Marketing