Updated: September 25, 2020 10:18 PM
Created: September 25, 2020 06:54 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Police Department is undergoing changes.
Chief Mike Geier announced in early September that he was retiring. His last day on the job was Friday.
"Chief Geier-- he was raising two grandchildren and needed to devote time to them," said Interim Chief of Police Harold Medina, who plans to apply for the permanent position.
Medina said, going forward, the department will be taking a proactive approach to address crime in the city.
"One of the things I'm going to do a little bit differently is-- we had developed a program where all of our officers were focusing on gun crime and obviously our current numbers weren't showing that it was working very successfully and it did seem to be taking away from other crimes that we still need to be concerned about," Medina said.
"One of the things I'm doing is giving authority back to commanders to address the issues that are current, and they see that are impacting their specific communities the most," Medina added.
Medina said he's allowing officers to change their focus. Previously, he said officers had to meet specific measures related to gun crime.
APD also plans to work more closely with the district attorney's office to help address crime.
"They are going to be taking some of our homicide case that aren't being worked as closely, and they are going to help us forward those cases to see if we can make arrests or get arrest warrants on them," Medina said.
Medina also wants to make sure the homicide caseload doesn't all fall on the same few detectives.
"I think it set them up for failure," he said. "I think they weren't able to complete those cases because you're spreading yourself out too thin."
Medina added that he has a good working relationship with the Keller administration.
"I've had a lot of freedom with the mayor and the CAO," Medina said. "I've explained to them the direction I want to go, and they've been very supportive."
As far as officer, union and executive staff relationships, Medina said there will be weekly meetings with the union, area commanders and some patrol officers.
Around 60 new officers will hit the streets next spring, Medina said.
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