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Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. Thank you for reading! The man who sets the tone for training police recruits in the state has instituted a curriculum that puts less restraint on officers in deciding when to use deadly force.
Courtesy photo. As the New Mexico State Police and the Albuquerque Police Department have come under scrutiny in recent months for a rash of officer-involved shootings, the man who sets the tone for training police recruits in the state has instituted a curriculum that puts less restraint on officers in deciding when to use deadly force. The academy trains recruits for police departments across the state. Greg Williams, an Albuquerque attorney and president-elect of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said before the board voted on the change, it had a process that included public involvement.
But Jones, arguing for more control over academy training, said changing anything from fitness requirements to firearms training could take nine months. Since September, Jones has shortened the cadet training from 22 weeks to 16 weeks, instituted a physical-fitness entrance exam that is the same for men and women and applicants of all ages, and added more training exercises, including live-fire vehicle stops.
These changes were necessary to prepare new police officers to work in a more dangerous world, he said.
Aveni, director of the Police Policy Studies Council, a New Hampshire-based group that studies use of force by law enforcement. Gallegos said the academy fired him in July for insubordination after he refused to teach new cadets some of the firearms training Jones wanted to implement.
The academy confirmed Gallegos was fired but declined to discuss the reasons. You should be shooting at the individual that is shooting at you. New Mexico made national headlines when a state police officer shot at a van full of children near Taos after the driver fled during a traffic stop in October. In November, a different state police officer shot and killed a Santa Fe woman after a high-speed chase, firing into her vehicle 16 times as she tried to flee.
The second shooting was one of three fatal shootings involving state police in the course of a month. The Albuquerque Police Department, meanwhile, is under investigation by the U. Department of Justice to determine if officers use unreasonable deadly force in encounters with suspects.
Albuquerque officers fatally shot 22 people from throughand wounded another Gallegos said more than 20 years ago, when he went through the academy, cadets were not taught to shoot at vehicles in order to stop them.
Ballistics training was about the impact of using various firearms and ammunition. Jones, a retired Army colonel, has more than 30 years of military experience and worked as a New Mexico State Police officer for 10 years. He ed the academy as deputy director in January Gallegos said he was told at that time that Jones would be in charge of training.
The board promoted Jones to director in June. But he said the purpose of some of the shooting techniques taught at the academy is to help cadets learn what happens when an officer shoots at a vehicle — not to stop cars.
Williams said because of the of officer-involved shootings, the public has the right to know how police are being trained. To be lawfully withheld, the documents have to be related to an ongoing criminal investigation or meet some other exception. Phil Sisneros, a spokesman for Attorney General Gary King, suggested filing an Inspection of Public Records Act complaint with his office to determine if the documents related to academy training must be released under the law.
The academy schedule includes hours of training. Among them: 52 hours for basic firearms training, including training in live-fire vehicle stops; 12 hours in use-of-force techniques; and eight hours of courses on deadly-force decisions. Jeff G. Jones said the shorter training period cuts redundancy. He also defended the new gender- and age-neutral fitness exam. He said it is fairer than the old exam, which set higher standards for younger males than for older females.
Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which has a program to increase the of women in law enforcement, argued, however, that academies with gender-neutral physical admission requirements are subtly excluding woman. Jones said he is now basing his training in use-of-force techniques on a U.
Supreme Court case titled Tennessee v. The ruling says a police officer can use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect if the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect might do serious physical injury or kill an officer or another person. The model Jones is dumping, called the Reactive Control Model, has been used by police agencies around the country. But Jones said it is too restrictive. For example, he said, the model says if an unarmed suspect attempts to attack an officer, the officer can use a baton in self-defense. At a meeting Monday, board Women looking nsa Pecos New Mexico Chairman Nate Korn lauded his expertise and what he has done to train officers.
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