The Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) has a new president.
And he’s a little different than the old one.
The Albuquerque Police Department is in the middle of a major dispute over the union’s future and power.
For years, the APOA, which represents about 2,500 officers in Albuquerque, has been fighting a long-running legal battle to retain control of the department.
It’s one of several battles being waged by the union over the future of its power and clout.
But on Tuesday, APOA president Tom Perez won a seat on the Albuquerque City Council and a seat in the city’s municipal court.
His win came on the heels of an ugly dispute that erupted after the APOA filed a lawsuit to keep the union from having a say in the hiring of new police officers.
As we previously reported, the union had requested that the city remove the term “law enforcement” from the city charter, and it wanted the term to be replaced with “police officer.”
In October, the city council voted 5-0 to allow the union to maintain control of Albuquerque’s police department.
The city attorney’s office has been working to resolve the conflict.
During his election, Perez was a member of the APA’s Executive Committee, which was formed by the APPA in 2002.
He is the only black APOA member to serve on that body.
At the time, the Albuquerque Police Association was a major force in the local community and was one of the biggest supporters of the Obama administration’s immigration reform legislation.
In an effort to protect the APOs rights and influence, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups fought to remove the APAs name from the charter.
Perez has fought that fight before, and he’s not backing down.
The APOA sued the city in 2016, claiming that the charter was unconstitutional, and the city agreed to pay a settlement to the APAA.
Since then, the case has been ongoing.
Last week, the City Council voted 5 to 2 to remove APOA from the APC’s charter.
That means APOA will no longer be allowed to be a member in the council’s office.
But in a statement on Tuesday morning, the mayor’s office said Perez will continue to serve as APOA President and a member on the APOC.
Perezzos new role will be to continue to protect APOA members’ rights and ensure that the APOB will remain a vital voice in the Albuquerque community, Mayor Richard Berry said in a release.
“Tom Perez will help the APOD to continue its mission of advancing the rights of all Albuquerque residents and to defend the constitutionality of the charter,” Berry added.