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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Arming Up In Deming, But For What? Plus: A Rare Defense of Police Shooting Of Homeless Boyd, And: ABQ: Die Another Day; Biz Leader Says We Are Not On Our Death Bed 

(Deming Headlight photo)
Look at that thing! It's just what the police department of every little city of 15,000 needs--its very own armored personnel carrier.

You hear about how PD's are becoming more  "militarized" but in Deming? What? Are the retirees there going to revolt against high chile prices? The news:

"This SWAT vehicle can hold up to 12 SWAT team members," Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante said. "

The department became aware that this vehicle may be available through a program that disposes of excess property from military services. "Normally, an armored personnel carrier of this type could cost $733,000 and up, so we are grateful to receive this for free," Gigante said.

The vehicle is large enough to transport personnel to and from emergency situations. It can be used in case of major weather situations, like floods or fire, barricade hostage situations, or most any other type of critical incident. "This is absolutely not a weapon system carrier," Gigante said. "This is strictly a personnel carrier."

Well, we sure will be careful while on our way through Deming in the future. Of course, after this recent news out of there, we don't need much incentive:

Hidalgo County and the city of Deming recently settled their portion of a lawsuit for a total of $1.6 million. The lawsuit, filed against police and sheriff's officials, alleges Deming police sought a search warrant because they thought (a suspect) appeared to be clenching his buttocks when he got out of his car in January 2013. By the time his encounter with the officers ended the next day, the suspect had endured three enemas, two anal probes and a colonoscopy at Gila Regional Medical Center -- and authorities found no drugs.

Come to think of it, if you're traveling through Deming you might want to use one of those armored personnel carriers.

JUSTIFIED SHOOT?

Retired APD Captain David Gilmore thinks the media has gone overboard in its coverage of the fatal police shooting of James Boyd that sent shock waves through the city and nation. He sends this missive from a retired Illinois police lieutenant who examined the Boyd case and came with a rare defense of the shooting:

. . . .As is evident on the video—Boyd has two knives in his hand. As the K-9 approaches he raises his right hand with a knife in it and takes a step forward. The K-9 officer is within a few feet of Boyd holding the dog’s leash and is therefore empty-handed with his weapon in a holster. The officers, whose job it is to protect the K-9 officer had to make a split-second decision based on the totality of what they have witnessed and experienced over the past hour with Boyd, decided that their partner was in imminent danger. No villains, no malicious motivation, no evil intent, no hate of the homeless, certainly no premeditation, not even a lack of training—in fact, the opposite of all that is evident throughout this ordeal.

Meanwhile, reader Jason Libersky informs that there is a long shot move afoot to have the Department of Justice completely take over APD. A petition to urge just that is posted here.

THE BEST

Is this one of the best positive TV ads to surface so far this election cycle? Some folks think so. It's an ad for Monica Wehby, a doctor running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Oregon.

And it seems Dem US Sen. Martin Heinrich have one of the best congressional websites:

Heinrich was recognized by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) for having one of the best websites in Congress, awarding Heinrich.Senate.Gov with a 113th Congress Gold Mouse Award.

Does he now get a gold-plated mouse to surf with?

ORGAN DEBATE NOISY

Heinrich, along with NM Dem US Senator Tom Udall are noted environmentalists. And the conservative GOAL advocacy group is hoping to put some hear on them when it comes to the current big enviro issue down south:

GOAL Advocacy launched a radio ad in Las Cruces aimed at bringing attention to the Organ Mountain National Monument debate. The radio spot can be heard here. The spot encourages residents to contact Senators Heinrich and Udall and ask them to pursue the legislative process in the effort to protect the Organ Mountains as a national monument. The legislative process will help ensure the issues Dona Ana County residents care about most are addressed in any designation. According to a recent survey of Dona Ana County residents by GOAL Advocacy, strong majorities were more likely to support a designation that addresses and protects grazing, border security and flood control projects.

Udall and Heinrich introduced the “Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act” this past December to preserve the area. President Obama has the power to create the monument--something that GOAL advocacy opposes but has significant support in the community.

DIE ANOTHER DAY

McClure
ABQ is not dying, says Association of Commerce and Industry of NM leader Beverlee McClure as she pushed back against various comments heard on this blog, including those from veteran NM journalist Wally Gordon who asserted that ABQ has many symptoms of a dying metro. McClure says:

Bloggers and pundits are asking lately whether Albuquerque is dying. The optimism of the last decade disappeared with mind-numbing speed, as if the concept of a successful Albuquerque has an expiration date.. . . What if all we’re missing is an element of pride and belief in ourselves? What if it feels like we always fail because we ignore all the times we succeed?. . . .A cloud of negativity has hung over this city for decades. New Mexico faces a dismal self-fulfilling prophecy. Who wants to achieve when nobody will acknowledge our achievements? Despite the successes of our universities, we treat them as second-class. Despite the cutting-edge accomplishments of our scientists and engineers, we pretend we’re stuck in the Dark Ages. Despite our vibrant culture, we disparage ourselves as insignificant and backward.

Nothing wrong with high self-esteem and New Mexico, as McClure argues, has had a shortage. On the other hand, the the city often ranks in the cellar in many of the relevant measures of social and business success. We would argue that we also have a shortage business leaders willing to stand up and lead. That's one of the reasons the "bloggers and pundits" are wondering if the city is losing its mojo.

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