NEW MEXICO — All new police cadets will be trained to use more deadly force, thanks to a new curriculum by director of the state’s Law Enforcement Academy. That training emphasis will take place in a cadet program that has been shortened by six full weeks.
Jack Jones, a retired Army colonel, was granted sole authority by the LEA over the training curriculum given to all of New Mexico’s new recruits. He says the old model was too restrictive with the use of deadly force.
“Evil has come to the state of New Mexico. Evil has come to the Southwest. Evil has come to the United States,” Jones said to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
A former instructor named Phillip Gallegos says he was fired by Jones because he refused to teach cadets Jones’ controversial philosophy about shooting fleeing vehicles.
“This is the thing — why are you shooting at a car? You should be shooting at the individual that is shooting at you,” Gallegos said.
Another thing Mr. Jones disagrees with is teaching cadets to go for their baton when an unarmed person goes hands-on with them as an officer. The new director believes that is “too restrictive” on the use of force.
When journalists filed an official request for a copy the academy’s new curriculum, Jones refused, saying it would give criminals an edge.
“I’ll burn them before you get them,” he told The New Mexican.
His new training program, which began January 20th, has also been shortened from 22 weeks down to 16 weeks, leaving many questioning what skills are being dropped from the curriculum while more deadly force is being added.
The decision to train cadets to shoot at fleeing vehicles comes at a sensitive time for New Mexicans. In October of last year, a New Mexico State Trooper opened fire on a minivan containing a mother and 5 children that was fleeing a traffic stop. A month later, a New Mexico State Police officer shot a female driver in the back of the head for trying to evade a traffic stop.
These officers were trained under the old standards that were too “restrictive” for the modern cop.
Should New Mexicans expect a rise in deadly shootings from the students of Col. Jones?
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