The television clip shows a police SWAT team busting into a home as officers accompanied by dogs fire guns. It was not the opening of a TV drama but a recruiting ad for the Hobbs Police Department. Its focus on the violence that sometimes comes with work in law enforcement stirred criticism. Three years after the ad first appeared, the Hobbs police chief, Christopher McCall, remained under scrutiny Friday when he appeared before the Senate Rules Committee for a hearing on his reappointment to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board. The board is responsible for setting training requirements for police around the state and deciding whether officers accused of misconduct should retain their law enforcement certification.
A district attorney received responses after writing a letter to the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA) about concerns with police training. The overall message: Everything is fine here. Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg received responses in return to her letter regarding concerns about police training deficiencies, ultimately linked to a current whistleblower lawsuit. The first letter came from APD Chief Gorden Eden. Eden wrote that any allegations of improper police training are unfounded.
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.