Gorden Eden, New Mexico’s secretary for public safety and a former U.S. Marshall, was named chief of the Albuquerque Police Department by Mayor Richard Berry, the Albuquerque Journal reports. The city has about 900 officers and a budget of $163 million a year. Eden takes the helm Feb. 27 as the department is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice to determine there is a pattern or practice of violating people's civil rights, specifically through the use of force.
Eden said the federal investigation is part of what motivated him to take the job. He said he will press forward with his plans to improve the department rather than “waiting for someone to publish a report”. Eden said the biggest deficiency now is the number of officers, and he will work to improve recruitment and retention. The city budget has enough money for 1,100 officers, but there haven't been that many on the force in years. Eden's agenda for his first 100 days includes changes at the police academy.