Dear City Councilors,
I just got through reviewing the City Council meeting of 16 May, 2022. At 2 hours and 35 minutes into the meeting Mrs. Flores again was given a few minutes to speak. As with Squaw Mountain Drive, it seemed that she had not consulted with anyone, be they constituents or legal advisers, nor had she even googled the issue she was going to speak on. She made a declaration that was so far out of norm as to be completely asinine.
She stated “I think things are not right concerning many individual police behaviors and actions taken.” She did not want to anger Veterans but stated also that “Hiring Police that are Veterans that might have psychological problems might not be the right psychological profile you want to be a police officer.” “Family has seen psychological damage war causes”. What family is she talking about here?
“One would think that our elected City Council members should be psychologically screened to know they were mentally capable of serving the people that elected them before they were allowed to run for office!” This to paraphrase what Mrs. Flores thinks of our honorable veterans.
As a Veteran of the United States Navy, having served for 22 years in a multitude of places and having pulled duty as Shore Patrol in more than one Nation overseas, I have nothing but respect and high regard for the Military Policemen and Veterans that have served this country. I did some digging, which Mrs. Flores SHOULD have done before she made such irresponsible statements that will go on the record and give rise to the question as to whether she is capable of effectively serving as a City Council Member. Mrs. Bencomo follows along close behind Mrs. Flores.
According to POLICE Law Enforcement Solutions, written by Mr. Doug Wyllie, he states “In the opinion of many of my friends in law enforcement – veterans of America’s military tend to make excellent police officers. Individuals with military experience have baked into their very being a commitment to service, an unusually high level of discipline, an understanding of chain-of-command, and other qualities that police officers also share.” See this link and read the article: Why American Military Veterans Make Great Police Officers – Patrol – POLICE Magazine
John F. Hussey, The Graduate Center, City University of New York for his Doctor of Philosophy wrote a study entitled “A study of police officers with military service backgrounds compared to police officers without military service, “Can military veterans interact and properly engage the public?” This study was submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Criminal Justice in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The City University of New York, 2020.
“The quantitative research concluded that police officers with military experience are less likely to have civilian complaints filed against them for unprofessional behavior than police officers who do not have military experience. The qualitative data provided a positive perception of police officers with military experience regarding their ability to serve as police officers and interact with the community. Lastly, the qualitative data as provided by police officers who have military experience via Survey Monkey concluded that military experience was beneficial to their service as police officers.” See this link to read the whole 234 page report: A Study of Police Officers with Military Service Backgrounds Compared to Police Officers without Military Service: Can Military Veterans Interact and Properly Engage the Public? (cuny.edu)
Other articles to prove that you are wrong in your assumptions about Veterans serving as Police Officers. Why military veterans make great cops (police1.com)
Report: Young vets are more successful than their civilian peers (militarytimes.com)
VETS TO COPS | COPS OFFICE (usdoj.gov)
5 Reasons Why Vets Should Consider Careers in Law Enforcement | Military.com
So, to almost conclude, Mrs. Flores and Mrs. Bencomo, you need to get your act together as you are acting irresponsibly toward your constituents, this City, and this state. If you do not know what the heck you are talking about, I would advise you to do some research so you won’t appear to be ignorant on the subject you are speaking on. As pertains to this issue I demand that you issue a public apology to our Veterans and that you stop denigrating them when you talk about Veterans. You are not, nor have you been, a Veteran and you have no idea of what you are talking about.
When speaking about the medical need of those citizens that had been in the path of nuclear testing WAY BACK in the 1940’s, this statement was issued. “Two cities were obliterated and EVERYONE in New Mexico is in GREAT PERIL!” Really! From what? The only Great Peril I can see is that some of you continue to serve on the Las Cruces City Council.
You need to check your facts and know what the heck you are talking about before you start talking. Calling the death of Mrs. Baca a “Killing” opens the door for the defense to state that the City has already tried and convicted the police officer in the Court of Public Opinion. It is not up to you to make such a statement and give any opinion about a case that is still being investigated.
I feel bad that our Mayor and our City Manager have to continue to work with you.
Michael S. Potts
Citizen at Large