The state director of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA) said he does not plan to make any major changes following a recent letter from the New Mexico Attorney General. The Santa Fe New Mexican first reported on his remarks.
Director Jack Jones, who oversees the training and certification process at the academy, told the paper that he does not foresee any changes to curriculum after Attorney General Hector Balderas outlined his priorities for the academy and its board.
From the New Mexican:
Jack Jones, the director for the state Law Enforcement Academy, said he will continue to implement the lesson plan as state Attorney General Hector Balderas plans to review the academy’s curriculum. The academy, which is in Santa Fe and sets the tone for statewide police training, came under scrutiny last year after Jones made changes to deadly force training.
“We welcome the attorney general,” said Jones, who has been the academy’s director since June 2013. “We’re excited for him to come look at our stuff.”
New Mexico Political Report previously reported Balderas’ three priorities for the NMLEA board, which he chairs. He said his priorities as chairman will be to balance public safety with efficient training, to hold the board accountable for its actions and to review training standards and curriculum.
The board reportedly gave Jones full control of training and certification, which led to an Open Meetings Act complaint.
Chris Mechels and another Santa Fe resident filed an Open Meetings Act complaint against the academy’s board. The complaint, which is pending in First Judicial District Court, says that when the board adopted the rule in September 2013 that gave all control over curriculum to the academy’s director, the board essentially cut the public out from hearing or commenting on any proposed changes in how the state trains potential officers.
In his statement regarding police training, Balderas said a look into training practices is critical.
“We are coming together at a critical time nationally and locally, as the divide between law enforcement and the communities we serve continues to grow, from Ferguson to Baltimore and even here in New Mexico,” Balderas said.
The first scheduled meeting for the NMLEA board with Balderas as its chair is scheduled for June 9, in Española.