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Albuquerque school police force develop 'blue flu' after a no-guns vote

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Police_car_max50

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Posted about 7 years ago

 

ALBUQUERQUE — Albuquerque and Bernalillo County law enforcement scrambled to cover shifts at the city's public schools Friday after school police officers apparently came down with a case of the "blue flu."

All Albuquerque school police patrol officers and detectives scheduled to work called in sick Friday morning, requiring city police and sheriff's deputies to be stationed at local schools.


The mass absence occurred the morning after an Albuquerque Public Schools board committee recommended continuing the district's current policy of restricted gun use — a policy unpopular with school and local law enforcement.

School police officers and detectives started calling in sick at about 7 a.m. Friday. Some said they had a cough, others had a sore throat and one reported he had allergies.

APS police officials called the missing officers and asked them to return to work. By midday, half of them were back on duty.

Also this week, eight of the department's officers have said they are going to resign.

If all of the resignations go through, the department would have only about a half of its authorized number of 46 certified law enforcement officers.

APS' current policy allows school officers to carry weapons only during after-school hours. They can retrieve them from their vehicles during the day for an emergency situation after obtaining permission from the superintendent.

The board voted Thursday night not to accept recommendations by the APS administration and a community commission. One of those recommendations was that officers be armed during school hours. Instead, the board voted to keep the current policy while continuing to study the recommendations.

Some of the officers left the meeting "looking like they had been punched in the gut," said Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, who spoke at the meeting in support of the recommendation that officers be armed.

APS police union leaders said they were not aware of any planned attempt for the officers to call in. If there was a job action, they said they don't condone it.

"We are held to higher standard," said Simon Beltran, a union leader.

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz and White held a joint news conference Friday morning, telling parents their children were safe.

The agencies adjusted schedules to make sure they had an officer or deputy at every high school. They all carried guns. No serious incidents were reported while the officers were out ill. At the news conference, White criticized school board members for not taking action and the officers who called in sick.

When asked if he planned to bill APS for the overtime his department paid Friday to be in the schools, White said, "maybe."

The APS police force is budgeted for 46 sworn law enforcement officers. The officers have been trained by a law enforcement academy and are certified through the state to make arrests like any other cop.

However, APS has placed restrictions on their use of guns, which has long caused controversy.

Members of the APS police say they need to be armed during the school day so they can keep students and faculty safe.

Before this week, the department had 33 officers, about 90 percent of whom are retirees from other agencies such as APD and the sheriff's office.

APS Lt. David Guzman, who is second in command, said if the eight officers follow through on their resignations, he will have to take officers assigned to a particular school and put them on patrol.

Acting APS Police Chief Steve Tellez said officials are checking to see whether officers who called in sick violated any policy regarding abuse of sick leave.

The Journal contacted several of the officers who stayed home Friday. All said they were sick and were not involved in any job action.

Detective Steve Gallegos was one of them.

Gallegos called in early Friday, reporting that he had allergies and couldn't work. His superiors called him back and told him to come in anyway. Normally he starts at 7 a.m. He came in at 11:30 a.m. "There was no talk of a job action," he said. "If it was, it was news to me. ... I will say the amount of people who called in sick today is not something that occurs every day."

Board member Robert Lucero said the officers' response was unprofessional.

"It's like a kid throwing a tantrum," Lucero said. "You don't address a kid throwing a tantrum. If they were professionals like they claim to be ... they wouldn't be acting like little children. They'd be there working."

Also on Friday, board president Paula Maes, who made the motion to keep the police department status quo, said she had been misunderstood.

She said she actually recommended the adoption of the commission and the superintendent's recommendations to allow officers to carry guns.

Brenda Yager, board manager, said the minutes were not yet available.

Copyright 2007 The Albuquerque Journal

English_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

So when a kid walks in the school armed with Tech-9's and sawed off shotguns, the cops have to run to there cars to get there weapons......I'm sure all the students know this...Obviouslly, so the officers are a bigger target. How can you expect them to defend the lives of all the other students in the situation of a school shooting, without having guns. Horrible

Death_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Ridiculous!! What purpose do the police serve when they're unarmed? Anyone remember Virginia Tech or Columbine? If I were asked to perform my function unarmed, I'd have to find another job. Buried too many friends already.

Police-19_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I am a school police officer I will be damned if they make me leave my weapon in the truck and pull a mother may I to get it. I think past events show schools are not safe im sorry if little jonny is sad and brings a gun to school to shoot those who pick on him I am going home and I will protct those of the school little jonny will DIE.


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Jman_1_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

It says, "They can retrieve them from their vehicles during the day for an emergency situation after obtaining permission from the superintendent."

So while the disturbed teen is pickin people off, the officers will be runnin back to their vehicles while tryin to get ahold of their superintendent to ask permission to use his weapon.... that's just flat out stupid. By the time the officer does all of that, the teenager could have taken out a quarter of the school (students and faculty) then gone and blown his own head off.

If an officer doesn't have his weapon during something like that he's just like everyone else except he has mace and a radio but pretty sure he wouldn't be able to get close enough to spray the kid or beat him with the radio.

063_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

HenryOceanTom said:

So when a kid walks in the school armed with Tech-9's and sawed off shotguns, the cops have to run to there cars to get there weapons......I'm sure all the students know this...Obviouslly, so the officers are a bigger target. How can you expect them to defend the lives of all the other students in the situation of a school shooting, without having guns. Horrible

HOT: You missed the part where before they get their weapon, they have to get permission from the Superintendant. Have you ever???? If they want unarmed, hire unarmed security.

100_1981_3__max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

This ain't kindergarten cop!!!! Like Jim said, if you want us unarmed hire a security officer!!!!


"It would be better for one to have a stone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea, than to cause a child to stumble."

"Well-behaved women rarely make history"

Investigator_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Here's something disturbing... They have to leave their firearms in their vehicles while on school grounds (a felony in some states), now every scrote that can read knows... I wonder how many vehicles will be broken into looking for them... Or in the active shooter scenario now part of the planning will be to steal the Officer's weapons or disable the locks on the Officer's vehicles so they can't get to them.


Ne conjugare nobiscum.

Merda taurorum animas conturbit.

There's no "I" in team... But there's two in idiot.

Wpe36370_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

!!!!@@@@@#####!!!!!! That is the problem with educators they have no concept of what the role of school resource officers. How are you going to restrict a law enforcement officer from carrying a weapon. There duty could require them to protect themselves, students and faculty and even the dum @ss administrators that voted for this change in policy. Obviously they are nieve and have forgotten about Columbine, Virginia Tech and numerous other situations where an armed response was appropriate and the loss of life was tremendous. MORONS !!!!!

Lake_front_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

These Morons are going to holla alot when the worst happens,,,,and look for someone to blame !!!...
There is absolutely no common sense with these people !!...
Yea mmmmm .......that will work !!!!!!!!!! Mr Administrator . YOU..... ask the scumbag to hold on for jusssst a sec.............
while the officer runs get to get their weapon.......

100_1981_3__max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

WHy even have a SRO?


"It would be better for one to have a stone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea, than to cause a child to stumble."

"Well-behaved women rarely make history"

One_badass_razorback_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I hear ya LCarvin. Might as well hire rent-a-cop instead. I am a SRO and have found knives, a gun, brass knuckles, and drugs from my 6th and 7th graders. Your firearm makes someone who has a hint of wanting to go crazy have second thoughts. I have kids all the time ask,"Have you ever shot anyone?", and although I never have I tell'em I shot a bunch of drug dealers. After saying that to one kid he asked,"Are you the policeman who shot my daddy?"

Meangreen01_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Albuquerque must be run by Democants...I mean Democrats.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ~ George Orwell

"Honor First!"

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English_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

jims4 said:


HenryOceanTom said:


So when a kid walks in the school armed with Tech-9's and sawed off shotguns, the cops have to run to there cars to get there weapons......I'm sure all the students know this...Obviouslly, so the officers are a bigger target. How can you expect them to defend the lives of all the other students in the situation of a school shooting, without having guns. Horrible


HOT: You missed the part where before they get their weapon, they have to get permission from the Superintendant. Have you ever???? If they want unarmed, hire unarmed security.


If it came to that...I think they would skip the calling of the superintendant. I hope

Police-19_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

you should see our evidence locker, let them see firsthand what we encounter.


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Brotherhood_badge_with_black_ribbon_max50_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I worked at a University Police department here in New Mexico... 15 Officers resigned or retired when the Board of Regents decided that the officers were no longer allowed to carry weapons. We had to turn in our weapons and were issued mace, and a PR-24 and told by the LT. "good luck". First time we got a call of a student in the science bldg with a rifle. Our dispatcher was told to call the state police because we were not going to respond. To this day they are still unarmed officers and probably the lowest paid in this state. The BOR decided since they are unarmed yet certified they are paid 7.00 an hour.


Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Talk about bone heads. Obviously they haven't learned a damn thing from any of the school shootings. If something goes down what do they expect the police to do? Tell the gunman "Before you start shooting, lemme go get my gun from my car. Thanks!" Doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

Nag_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Let the administrators handle security and see what happens, they can deal with any armed student that comes on the school grounds. Thats a bunch of bs from the school board.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

In the mean time, Virginia Tech is getting gutted because they screwed the pooch. I am having a really hard time making the correlation between unarmed cops and safe schools. I have a five year old daughter and it wouldn't bother me one iota if she had to excuse herself to get past the armed policemen guarding her school. A hearty BAAAAAAA to the Albaquerque School Board. No wonder Bugs missed the left there.

Blank2_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I'm obviously new here, but are you kidding me? Do these people live in a vaccum? Hell, in Texas there talking about arming the teachers. I jest but It's getting that bad.

Dscn1049_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

things that make you go hmmmm

Wolf_max160_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I think every member of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board should take a turn on the shovel for every six foot deep hole that needs to be dug if they ever do find themselves in a Columbine situation. That's the most irresponsible thing I have ever heard of out of a school board. If they train their Officers to be competent then there's no issue. My guess is some knuckle-head had an A.D. in the hallway between classes or something. Something this drastic, at this day and age, says there is more to it -and we're seeing a knee-jerk reaction.


Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth. -George Washington

Lambert_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Morons! We had five students shot by two gunman in front of their dorms last September. For years the University was ranked as "The safest campus in America". A few years back, during contract negotiations, some threatened to take away our guns. They thought the guns looked to intimadating on our belts. Since the incident, the University has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on security measures. New camera system, metal detectors for all events, lock-down and alert systems. Officers can carry .40 cals (ten years ago most carried wheel guns) tasers and we are in the process of getting shotguns for all the vehicles. Not to state the obvious but; THIS CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE!!! and this WILL HAPPEN AGAIN!!! Wake up people, we do not live in the 1950's anymore. Wait until people start moving their kids out of the school district or the University's enrollment goes down. I bet they get their guns then.


Go practice falling down, I'll be there in a minute