The federal agency said Thursday that Albuquerque officers need more training and tools to ensure they can protect the community without escalating potentially violent situations.
The agency found that officers too frequently used deadly force on people "who posed a minimal threat" and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness.
Acting U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez says the findings will help the city determine "the next generation" of policing.
The announcement followed an investigation into allegations of civil rights violations and excessive force that spanned more than a year. The department has faced criticism over 37 shootings by officers since 2010.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.