ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After 31 years with the Albuquerque Police Department, eight of them as the top cop, Chief Ray Schultz has set Aug. 3 as his retirement date.
"I look forward to the next chapter in my life. It's been a great ride," Schultz said during a Thursday afternoon news conference at City Hall. "The 31 years has just flown by ... but it's time to put on a new hat and find something else to do and some new challenges."
In March the chief announced his intention to retire but had not specified a date publicly until Friday.
Deputy Chief Allen Banks will take over as interim chief with the process of selecting a permanent replacement on hold until after the Oct. 8 mayoral election, Mayor Richard J. Berry said.
"The best time for candidates to come forward is not during an election," Berry said.
Banks said he hasn't decided if he'll apply for the chief job permanently., but he did say he knows the ins and outs of the department. He started his police career in 1992. He called the interim promotion a "beautiful opportunity" to follow on Schultz's leadership in working with a progressive department and the citizens of Albuquerque.
"I've been deputy chief for three and a half years now, so I do have that knowledge and experience with the position," he said, adding he has been the acting chief whenever Schultz went out of town.
Schultz will be around through Sept. 6 to help with the transition, the mayor said.
While Schultz will be gone, whomever is selected to replace him will inherit a list of unresolved issues .
Schultz said he was not under any pressure to leave because of the ongoing Department of Justice investigation of police-involved shootings and other community issues. The state retirement system and his family situation - a daughter just married and a son about to get married - made the timing right, he said.
Schultz also said he and his staff have been working with the DOJ and that he would "only be a phone call away" after his retirement.
Asked what the biggest challenge facing Banks will be in taking over the department, Schultz said there isn't only one.
"It's crisis management on a daily basis with so many moving pieces," he said. "You don't know what's out there an hour from now. You don't know who's on the other end of the 911 call."
KRQE News 13 will have more on Schultz's retirement and related issues on newscasts later this evening.
An emotional mother is still waiting for answers about what happened to her missing daughter.
The federal jury weighing a life or death sentence for convicted killer John McCluskey has announced it couldn't reach a decision.
New details about the two New Mexico men arrested Tuesday for the murder of a Texas woman.
They are two coaches building their respective football programs.
It was a Food Network show that inspired some students at Sandia High School.
Albuquerque will soon be getting a new library, the first one built here in decades.