Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said in an interview with USA Today that it will be difficult to reform the department because it is “stuck” with officers who “shouldn’t be on the force.”
Eden told the newspaper that aspects of the contract between the union and the city make it difficult for officials to discipline officers for past actions that have already gone through the disciplinary process.
That, he said, will make it hard to make changes as required by the Justice Department. The interview was published on the paper’s website Wednesday.
Eden said in a prepared statement Wednesday evening that all large departments have at least some problem officers.
“Although the law will not permit me to retroactively investigate, impose discipline or take other administrative action, I can assure you that my management team and I closely monitor the small group of officers that are of concern in this area,” he said. “As the leader of APD, it’s my job to address these situations where we help officers succeed, either coaching them up or coaching them out.”
Of course, union officials didn’t care for that comment. Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association President Stephanie Lopez said Eden’s comments were a “surprising disappointment.”