Officers Donald Sabaugh, Gerald Ball, Robert Vasquez, Acting Sergeant Marvin Barnes, and Chief Judge Henry Alaniz receive the award from APD leaders.
(Not photographed: Officers Jeff Garcia, Joel Harvey and Mark Maycumber)
On May 12th, Metro Court’s APD Protection Unit was honored as Albuquerque Police Department’s Team of the Month. Four of the Unit’s seven officers attended the ceremony held at APD Main, along with the Court’s Chief Judge Henry Alaniz, CEO Robert Padilla and DCEO Jonathan Ash. The Unit’s remaining three officers remained back at the Court “holding down the fort” - a job they all take seriously and with great humility.
Metro Court’s Protection Unit is a first-class team of Albuquerque police officers, each with approximately 30 years of police service. Every day their experience is projected throughout the courthouse and collectively they demonstrate and represent the highest values and aptitude of APD officers.
Metro Court is the busiest court in the state of New Mexico. The 144,000 square foot facility houses 19 Judges, more than 300 employees, and a probation department that oversees hundreds of individuals on misdemeanor probation and pretrial supervision. Each day, 3000- 4000 visitors walk through the Court’s doors.
On average, the Protection Unit makes 120 arrests per month on warrants and courtroom remands. The arrests are made in addition to maintaining a robust training schedule and keeping order and security throughout the courthouse. “We are proud of our ability to accomplish these duties without major disturbances, injuries, disruptions, or mishaps within the courthouse,” said Marvin Barnes, Acting Sergeant of the Unit.
“The Protection Unit’s productivity and professionalism is constantly noticed and commended by citizens, judges, and staff,” added Chief Judge Alaniz.
In addition to staffing the courthouse for 10 ½ hours each weekday, officers are present on Saturday and Sunday for misdemeanor custody arraignments and felony first appearances. Officers respond to duress alarms in customer service and in probation for warrants, disturbances and unruly clients.
The Unit’s officers have served in nearly every capacity of police service; Field Services, Field Investigations, Narcotics, SWAT, Sex Crimes, Property Crimes, Criminalistics, Gang Unit, Civil Division, Crimes Against Children, Horse Mounted Unit, Violent Crimes, Impact Teams, Training officers, Juvenile Section, School Resource Officers, Motors, and much more. They bring this multitude of experience with them each and every day to serve our community.