KOB Web Staff
Updated: September 10, 2020 11:13 PM
Created: September 10, 2020 09:47 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier announced he will retire.
A source with knowledge of the situation told KOB 4 that Geier is being pushed out. However, Mayor Tim Keller would not confirm that Thursday.
"I'm never going to make decisions based on rumors. I'm never going to discredit someone who has served 47 years by pandering to social media or rumors and I don't think others should do," Keller said. "Well, we think it's the right time for new leadership at APD, so I think it's a mutual decision. We want to move faster, and we think it's time for new leadership, and he's also ready to retire. So I think it's the way it should be."
The announcement came just a day after City Council Brook Bassan asked whether the administration supported the chief. She was not given a clear answer from Sarita Nair, the city's chief administrative officer.
Geier did not appear to have hard feeling when announcing his retirement Thursday.
"I feel like I'm leaving on a positive note and I feel like I'm leaving the department in good hands," he said. "I probably wouldn't have worked for too many mayors but this man and this administration done me well and I'm proud to be part of your administration so from the bottom of my heart I thank you and thanks for the opportunity to serve."
Upon Geier's departure later this month, Deputy Chief Harold Medina will serve as acting chief.
City officials said there will be a national search for a new chief, which will be outlined at the end of September.
Geier was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller in 2017. He worked for over 43 years in law enforcement, including serving as police chief of the Rio Rancho Police Department.
His departure is a mixed bag of emotions for the Albuquerque Police Union.
"I'll tell you, we are looking at this as a very positive move in the right direction," said Det. Shaun Willougbhy, APOA president.
He added,"I think it's going to be challenging to have a nationwide search 12 months before a mayoral election. I think that's going to be a challenge for the City of Albuquerque."
Despite the shakeup, in the midst of a violent crime crisis, Keller said he remains focused on making communities safer.
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