UPDATE 1/15: The U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Albuquerque told KUNM Wednesday that they were planning on telling the court which candidate they had selected for the job of independent monitor.
A federal judge has to approve their choice before the information is made public. That announcement is expected early next week.
A coalition of advocates dedicated to keeping tabs on reform of the Albuquerque Police Department have selected their top picks for an independent monitor position.
The group slogged through applications from all 17 firms that are being considered for the position. Advocates maintain that the independent monitor needs to engage the community and be completely independent from city government.
The firm that is selected will oversee court-ordered reform of the Albuquerque Police Department based on an agreement with the Department of Justice.
The DOJ and the City of Albuquerque are expected to announce which firm they would like to bring onto the team this week. Their choice will have to be approved by a federal judge.
On their website APD Forward compiled a list of criteria that they say whomever is selected for the position should meet.
The APD Forward Coalition asserts that the team of experts chosen to fulfill this critical function should have:
1. Out of State headquarters and share no relationship with the City of Albuquerque or its agents.
2. Extensive experience monitoring police compliance with consent decrees to address a pattern and practice of constitutional violations.
3. The proven ability to develop a monitoring plan based on best practices and the latest research on police reform.
4. A commitment to engage community stakeholders in the reform process.
5. A full-time presence in the Albuquerque Police Department, ideally by establishing a community-accessible office in Albuquerque.
6. A mix of law enforcement professionals, academic experts and other subject matter specialists.
7. Specific expertise in mental illness and crisis de-escalation.
8. Experience dealing with collective bargaining issues.
9. A lead monitor with experience overseeing a large team of experts.
10. A local representative who can help ease the team's introduction to the APD.