The Albuquerque Police Department is adding two new deputy chiefs to its department to help build what it calls “constitutional community policing.”
Since 2014, the department has undergone major changes after the Department of Justice pointed out a pattern of excessive force.
Among the new hires is Michael Jay Smathers, who was a police major with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina.
In 2013, Smathers was part of a decision to charge an officer with manslaughter after he shot and killed an unarmed man. APD Chief Geier says he brings a proven track record of embracing criminal justice reform.
In addition, APD Deputy Chief J.J. Griego was promoted to look over the Support Services Bureau. He’s been with the department since 2002.
Chief Geier says he knows what it takes to inspire officers. Morale at APD has been especially low in recent years.