Albuquerque chief urges citations for low-level crimes

May 17, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden has issued a special order that directs officers to issue citations rather than make arrests when it comes to some low-level misdemeanor crimes. Despite the order, the chief said officers will still have discretion. If they end up making an arrest, they'll be required to outline their reasoning in an incident report. The order, issued last week, is part of a recent settlement the city agreed to in a decades-old lawsuit concerning jail conditions and arrest procedures. The directive applies to numerous offenses, including littering, panhandling, criminal trespass, criminal damage under $1,000, possession of drug paraphernalia, shoplifting under $500, drinking in public and others. Police union president Shaun Willoughby says taking the fear of jail time away from criminals will do more harm than good.