Mayor Keller provides update on APD chief search

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The search for a new Albuquerque Police Chief has been whittle down to just three finalists. The community made what they want to see in the new chief clear and the city thinks they have three candidates that fit the bill. “The three people that came out to be the finalists all had very innovative and creative ideas in terms of how to deal with morale, conflict and how to motivate their team,” said Herb Crosby, a consultant for the hiring process.

The people of Albuquerque also want the chief to have experience in areas like reducing use-of-force, crisis management as well as protecting civil rights and racial equity. Another common hope is that the department can shift the narrative from fighting crime to preventing crime.

One of the candidates is Clinton Nichols, the Chief of Police in Commerce City, Colorado. Nichols served in the Marine Corps before starting his career in law enforcement in the early ’90s.

The second candidate is Joseph Sullivan who most recently served as deputy commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department. He retired last year and had worked for the department for more than 30 years.

The final candidate is the current acting APD chief Harold Medina. In 2017, Mayor Tim Keller chose former Chief Mike Geier to lead the department, but then fired him last year for not getting the job done. “I get the responsibility of that whether it’s good or bad or whether the outcome is positive or negative. In Albuquerque, it’s fundamentally the mayor who can pick whoever they want. So, we’ve tried to put together a thoughtful process that gets to a pretty good outcome but ultimately I know it’s on me,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Over the last few months, the city has met with 40 different groups and received surveys on what people are looking for in a new chief. Keller says all three candidates have different strengths and weaknesses. He also hopes to make a decision by March.

The city is holding a public webinar to meet the candidates Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021at 1:30 p.m. Please click this URL to join: https://cabq.zoom.us/j/94484287961. The city is also encouraging the public to provide suggested questions they have for the finalists. Email the questions to chiefsearchinput@cabq.gov. View resumes of the finalists here.

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