ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Mayor R.J. Berry said despite what it may look like, Chief Ray Schultz's decision to retire, was his own and not politically motivated.
"The fact is we've hung together through some difficult times here and if we were going to do something that was politically expedient we would have done it months if not years ago to be honest with you," Mayor Berry said.
Speculation about the timing of Chief Ray Schultz telling Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry he plans to retire this summer has been swirling.
Berry is running for a second term in office, the election is just seven months away in October.
During an interview with News 13 Monday afternoon Berry said even though the Chief will most likely step down in June or July, he does not plan to hire a new chief until after the election.
"With only several months left in this term I certainly think we have, I feel good about asking the citizens of Albuquerque for a second term but you never know how that's going to work out, so we'll wait," said Berry.
The Mayor said he will appoint an interim chief, adding that Schultz has offered to stick around for a month or so after he officially retires to help ensure a smooth transition.
Despite that, he plans to start the task of finding a new chief soon with the help of a search firm.
"There's some big shoes to fill I will put on a national search I will also invite some capable people from APD to also participate in the search process," Berry said.
News 13 asked the Mayor if this job would a tough sell given the Department of Justice investigation and beating the department's reputation has taken over the last few years.
He said doesn't think they will have a problem attracting top notch candidates whether its from within the department or from outside of APD.
"I would think that someone would be able to look at this as a tremendous opportunity to build upon the foundations that Chief Shultz has put into place," said the Mayor.
Schultz himself said the department just finished its five year strategic plan and has a good grasp on where it is going.
He said while he doesn't think he is done with law enforcement altogether, he is not exactly sure yet what he will do once he steps down.
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