ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two officials in Albuquerque want the city’s police union to turn over documents from a recent survey of officers that found that the agency was suffering from low morale and that an overwhelming majority of officers disapproved of the police chief’s performance.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/RmyLxx) that Police Chief Ray Schultz and Mayor Richard Berry insist the union should turn over the documents if it wants the perceived problems fixed.
The Albuquerque Police Officers Association has refused to release comments and responses to open-ended questions officers gave in the union-commissioned survey between late September and late October.
[auth] More than 450 officers who account for about half of the city’s police force had responded to the survey. The union released limited results last month.
They showed that 99 percent of those who took the survey described the police department’s morale as low, 80 percent disapproved of Schultz’s performance, 95 percent disapproved of the job Berry was doing with the police department and 98 percent believed the police agency was undermanned.
Schultz sent a letter Friday to union president Greg Weber, asking for the entire results. The letter said the union had released only 11 of the 134 pages while telling the media that it had provided all of the results to the chief.
“As Chief I believe that it is important that I review the entire survey so that I can address any legitimate issues or concerns that the officers have raised,” he said in the letter.
Weber said in an interview that granting confidentiality was one of the only ways he could elicit officers’ honest comments. “We promised people that they would be absolutely anonymous, and I want to keep that promise,” Weber said.
He said some officers feared retaliation if their names were released.
Schultz said in an interview Friday that he had heard that about a dozen officers — including sergeants and lieutenants — were unhappy that they hadn’t been contacted to take the survey, which the union sent to personal emails.
Weber said the union believed it would be inappropriate to send survey invitations through department email addresses. The union collected personal email addresses when officers signed up to join the union or from sign-up sheets at union meetings.
About 100 Albuquerque officers never got the invitation, Weber said, though he said the union went to great lengths to publicize and solicit responses.