In light of events that took place over the past year, the Portales City Council felt it would be beneficial to the department and reassuring to the community to have an external evaluator take a look at the Portales Police Department's procedures and policies.
The review team we selected was recommended by the New Mexico Municipal League and has extensive experience in law enforcement.
The overall outcome was very positive. The evaluation team did make recommendations on a couple of areas they felt either needed better documentation or better training but they assured me they found absolutely nothing to be alarmed about.
They commended the entire staff of the police department and stated we have outstanding individuals in the department.
I specifically asked about rumors I had heard — a "secret" evidence room and missing drugs — and they assured me they found nothing to substantiate either of those rumors.
The evaluators visited with the personnel at the police department twice, with a 10-day lapse between the visits.They were extremely impressed with how much progress was made between their visits to remedy weaknesses that had been identified.
Many of those weaknesses had already been identified by the department prior to the commissioning of the review.
I personally want to thank the men and women of the Portales Police Department for their dedication to our community. They have been placed in very stressful situations from within their own department the past few months and I appreciate their cooperativeness during this review.
I also ask that the community be supportive and help rebuild the public's confidence in them.
This is one of those jobs that frequently doesn't get the respect it deserves and I hope we can all work to rebuild the trust we need and want to have in public servants.