ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a few weeks since Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier says he was forced out of his job. Now, he is speaking out and telling his side of the story about what really led to his dismissal.
Retirement wasn’t something former APD Chief Mike Geier was ready for yet. “In this case, I feel I was done wrong and I feel sorry for the citizens and the officers that support me,” he said.
After almost 3-years on the job, Geier says he was hired to be the city’s top cop. However, he says he was never allowed to do his job and the problems started almost immediately. Most recently, he says he was growing more frustrated with Mayor Tim Keller.
“The Mayor’s not accepting resources and funding for things that he actually, you know, fought for or asked for,” said Geier. That included funding for an anti-crime initiative, Operation Relentless Pursuit, and even Operation Legend.
Geier says when he came up with plans to try to bring down the crime problem in the city, they went unanswered. “So I knew these programs would work, but it seemed like no one listened,” said Geier.
Ultimately, crime wasn’t getting any better and Geier says the mayor blamed him for it. “I mean there were no other earlier red flags or anything like oh, here’s a warning that you’re doing something wrong, or here’s where you’re off track. We all saw every day that violent crime was high, but then when he said this is on you, okay,” said Geier.
The city’s Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair calls all of this a “petty distraction,” and disputes Geier’s claims that the mayor didn’t want to listen to him. “That’s untrue. He was in charge of implementing his own ideas. So if there was a delay, he would understand why that was happening. There was no push back from here,” Nair says.
While Geier says he’s willing to admit his mistakes and take responsibility during his time as chief, he says now is his time to finally share his side of the story. “It’s not to be vindictive or get bitter, it’s just to say and point out where people can do better,” he says.
The mayor’s office says they are working to get community input on what they would like to see in the next chief. They will be rolling that out in the upcoming weeks.
Geier has also led the Rio Rancho Police Department as Chief, but he says he doesn’t have plans to be a chief at another police department at this time. He says he plans on enjoying retirement and possibly working as an advisor for local faith-based groups.