ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on a planned audit of the Bernalillo County sheriff’s use-of-force policies (all times local):
A law firm that has represented multiple New Mexico law enforcement officers in misconduct cases has been tapped by the sheriff in New Mexico’s largest county to review his department’s use-of-force and pursuit policies.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales says he and the county attorney have selected the Albuquerque firm Robles, Rael and Anaya for the review. The sheriff is expected to provide a status report stemming from the audit to county commissioners at a meeting next month.
The law firm is led by Luis Robles, who has conducted law enforcement training seminars on use-of-force.
A resolution approved by the commission Tuesday calls for the sheriff to hire a third-party evaluator to review the policies and possibly recommend changes.
It comes as the sheriff’s department contends with lawsuits and deadly force cases in recent years.
A proposal to speed a review of how New Mexico’s largest sheriff’s department uses force and handles pursuits is slated to go before county commissioners Tuesday.
The proposed resolution, if passed, would require Sheriff Manuel Gonzales and the county manager to hire a third-party evaluator to review the policies and possibly recommend changes.
It comes as the sheriff’s department has contended with lawsuits and a heightened number of deadly force cases in recent years, and as Gonzales is up for re-election this year.
Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins is sponsoring the proposal, saying the board of commissioners has a role in trying to determine what has caused the increase in use-of-force incidents.
A vote on the proposal last month was postponed, allowing the sheriff and commissioners more time to review it.