The Las Cruces City Council was presented with a semi-annual audit report of the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) from the OIR Group, who is contracted by the City to provide independent police auditing services.
The presentation to City Council was made at a City Council work session on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
The scope of the police audit was for cases initiated, investigated, and closed by LCPD from Jan. 1, 2021 to Nov. 30, 2021. The audit was OIR Group’s first to City Council.
Audit findings of 12 cases investigated by LCPD Internal Affairs were shared with City Council. The 12 cases included five formal citizen complaints, two internal investigation cases, two cases regarding supervisor matters, two vehicle pursuit cases and one case reported anonymously to the City’s Ethics Hotline.
The police audit findings determined investigations were complete, objective, and thorough. Actions taken by LCPD in response to the investigations were appropriate with a commitment to accountability.
The audit also offered several recommendations for improvements that have already been made by LCPD Internal Affairs. The recommendations include:
- Changing the wording of complaint intake forms to better facilitate the ability for people to file complaints.
- Establish formal findings for preliminary investigations.
- Prevent delays in completing investigation.
- Limit the use of supervisory matters for more serious matters.
The City’s contract with OIR Group is for an initial one-year term, with an option to annually renew for as many as four years.
At Monday’s work session, City Council also received elected official training from the City Attorney and the City Clerk’s Office. The Council was provided with training on the legal basis for City authority; the New Mexico Open Meetings Act; the New Mexico Constitution’s anti-donation clause; ethical considerations such as conflicts of interest and ex parte communications; the City’s Ethics Ordinance, and the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.
Elected officials training is provided, as requested, to all City boards and commissions.