APD officer calls for accountability all around.

Photo by Kris Klarer / NM News Port

By Juan Baeza / NM News Port

The city of Albuquerque has seen a spike in crime as of late. Last year, in fact, Albuquerque shattered its homicide record. Car theft and break-ins are another big issue.

APD Officer Jonathan Cortez has quite the background when it comes to protecting others. From being a security guard early in his career, to serving in the military before joining his hometown police department, Cortez understands the job isn’t easy but he wants the community to understand that officers are human too. 

“I just hope we all could just get along and learn that every job that we do is different and sometimes you just won’t know what it takes until you’re in the job,” Cortez said. “Hopefully everybody understands and can hold people accountable on all sides.”

APD logo and art courtesy of NMPBS
Listen to the audio version of this report as News Port’s Juan Baeza speaks with APD’s Jonathan Cortez who offers his take from behind the badge. 

Cortez cites a common complaint by police that the courts are too quick to release repeat offender. With that, he says, the suspects only get better at working the system and each arrest becomes like practice to them. 

“We keep arresting the same people that are doing the same type of crimes and yet the courts keep trying to do the right thing by letting people go because everybody’s innocent until proven guilty,” Cortez said.

Since 2014 APD has been under a federal court monitor to bring about police reforms. Cortez believes that accountability at all levels is necessary for the city to see improvement in policing. 

“We just need to have accountability on all factors, accountability for police officers, accountability for courts, accountability on people on themselves given if they do something wrong everything just needs to work together,” Cortez said.

By the community coming together and the courts and the police force being held accountable, Cortez says he believes we will see a positive outcome when it comes to fighting crime in Albuquerque.