Española Mayor Javier Sanchez and the entire city council agree on two things:

    • The city’s police department has big problems, which some believe the Department of Justice should come in and monitor.

    • They all deserve a raise.

    Those two thoughts go against anything a rational thinking business person would do. On the one hand city leaders say the police department needs training and must work to correct some terrible behavior on the part of some officers.

    That discussion brought about different solutions from city councilors. The mayor suggested a civilian oversight committee, much like the one Albuquerque is trying to utilize. Of course city police pushed back on this. We mere mortals can’t begin to understand the complexity of being a cop, treating people with dignity and respect and upholding the law without violating citizens’ civil rights.

    While the oversight committee seemed draconian to police, other city leaders thought the city should seek help from the Department of Justice. While we appreciate the attention to the Police Department’s issues, this is clearly over the top.

    Again looking at the city of Albuquerque’s issues, its police department shot and killed over 20 people before the Department of Justice stepped in. We highly doubt they’ll look at Española’s police brutality, or excessive force, issues as needing their attention.

    This is a training issue coupled with a lack of leadership to ensure training is completed and implemented. We don’t need an oversight committee or the Department of Justice to tell us that. We just need a police chief that can carry out those two things and hold line officers to proper behavior standards.

    City leaders also must understand what giving blanket raises does to morale. When someone who does not perform adequately and is not disciplined for bad behavior receives a raise, it lowers the standard for all people in that person’s rank and pay range. Why should you work hard and follow protocol when someone who doesn’t, suffers no consequences and gets the same pay and raise?

    This sends a bad message, much like bad teachers getting the same raise good, hard-working teachers deserve. We get it, it’s bureaurcracy and government standards. Private businesses cannot operate this way. We’d go out of business.

    However, government leaders can hold government employees accountable without sending unions into an indignant frenzy: training, leadership.

(2) comments


As a sign of how deep the EPD problems run; the Deputy Chief Jack Jones is the man who DESTROYED police training in New Mexico, while he was the LEA Director from 2013-2015. Jones installed an illegal curriculum at the LEA, in an illegal meeting in December 2013. In a just world, Jack would be in jail, not the Deputy Chief in Espanola. EPD sure knows how to pick em...

1983 Action

Leadership starts at the top, starting with the mayor. When he is clueless, how can we expect a chief or interim chief to be a leader? The City Mangaer can't exercise any leadership or control over the police department, since the "interim chief" is the mayor's "boy," and he will be protected implicitly and without question. Why is that?

What favors are being done?

Are they political?

Are they personal?

I beg to differ with you, Mr. Trapp. The Justice Department does have an interest in coming in and cleaning up this police "department." Just because EPD is not going around shooting and killing citizens does not make the matter any less important. Here you have a police department which is rampant with corruption, favoritism, incompetence and lack of leadership. All on the public dime. This has led to these crooked, untrained hothead cops abusing and torturing our citizens. They remain living and have to deal with the injuries, trauma and stress suffered after being abused by public servants who should be helping them. Granted, if a good arrest is being made, law enforcement officers have the right and the authority to arrest citizens who are believed to have committed crimes. They do not have the authority to abuse them!

Major payouts will be made to pay the victims and their attorneys. Not only for these high profile cases on which you have reported, but also for the other incidents which the public don't even yet know about!

I do agree that the mayor and council granting raises to the entirety of the police department makes no sense whatsoever. Business and Management 101 would teach that you do not reward such failure and incompetence. But once again, the mayor wants to appease his boy and half the council is running for re-election. Easy to figure that one out.

Maybe the city council can appropriate some funds to send the mayor back to school. Although he brags about his ivy-league educational pedigree, it was quite evidently lacking in even basic classes in Management, Government and Leadership. He will never admit his ignorance, so all we can expect is the mayor continuing to recite his little fourth grader speeches during council meetings, pretending to have answers and pretending to care.

Maybe the mayor can commission the "Desert Gold Group" to make a documentary on his incompetence and the mess he has made of the city and the state of disaster in the police department. All of the "action" footage is already made (assuming the cops had their cameras turned on and the interim "chief" didn't delete).

Leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example.

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