Michael Geier, Albuquerque’s interim police chief since December, has won the job permanently, reports the city’s Journal. Mayor Tim Keller announced Wednesday that Geier, 65, had been selected by a five-member search committee from among 28 candidates. Geier worked as a police officer in the Chicago area for 20 years, working his way up the ranks to lieutenant, before spending another 20 years as an Albuquerque cop. He then worked as chief in Rio Rancho, an Albuquerque suburb. Keller said Geier was the best candidate to combat crime, reform the department and improve relations between police and the community.
The city council is expected to vote on the appointment next week. The Albuquerque Police Department is in the midst of a years-long reform effort brought on by a Department of Justice investigation that found the department had a pattern of excessive force. “I’m taking this responsibility with my eyes wide open,” Geier said. “There was an APD that was an old APD (that had) an old way of doing things that led to mistrust from the community. Now there is a new APD and a new way of doing things. … We’re going to be more aggressive in fighting crime, but we also will acknowledge our mistakes.”