City leaders want to change how APD officials are chosen

Updated: 04/20/2014 11:29 PM | Created: 04/20/2014 10:16 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It seems the Albuquerque police chief cannot stay out of the headlines.

In the last year alone, the position has turned over twice.

The three men who have held that position have been widely criticized.

Some city leaders say things need to change.

Leaders at city hall are trying to change how they appoint the leaders in the Albuquerque Police Department.

Right now the job of hiring a police chief in Albuquerque is left exclusively to the mayor, who has the final say.

Some city councilors say the problem is that this particular job is so important, but they have no input.

"We represent nine different council districts I think the most paramount issue that we deal with every day is public safety and I think we should at least have a confirmation say so on who is appointed,” City Councilor Ken Sanchez said.

Over the past year there has been a turnover in the leadership at APD.

Chief Gorden Eden took over after Interim Chief Allen Banks was in command for a short time.

City Councilor Ken Sanchez is proposing the mayor picks a chief, but the city council gets to confirm the pick.

That means the council would get the final say.

“Just like the CAO, the city attorney and the city clerk,” Sanchez said.

Another city councilor has a different idea.

Councilor Rey Garduno thinks voters should elect a police chief the way they elect a county sheriff.

"Every Position should be voted in, right? People should have who they want," Scott Guthrie said.

“We should be able to have a voice and say who we want,” Martha Gonzalez said.

It is not clear which bill will win out or if either will win at all.

But it is clear that some councilors want the power out of the mayor’s hands on choosing APD’s top brass. 

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