In Case You Missed It: Albuquerque Journal: Mayor Berry puts 'policing before politics' ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The Albuquerque Journal

's editorial board applauded Mayor Richard Berry's choice for interim police chief, saying that his decision demonstrates that he puts "policing before politics." This is in stark contrast with his opponent, Pete Dinelli, who continues to say or do anything to get elected. Most recently, Dinelli has had harsh words about retiring APD Chief Ray Schultz. However, he admitted to a reporter Friday that he called Schultz "the finest chief we've ever had" in response to then-mayoral candidate Richard Romero calling for his replacement. Interim police chief offers APD a breather
By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board Mon, Jul 22, 2013 Last week Mayor Richard Berry and Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz made the best of what even the police union has described as ―challenging times.‖ They announced Schultz’s planned retirement as being effective Aug. 3 and the appointment of Albuquerque native and Deputy Chief Allen Banks as interim chief until after the Oct. 8 municipal election. Those are obvious, and smart, choices for a department in transition. Banks has made a career out of serving Albuquerque residents – 21 years on the force, most recently in charge of field services, the largest bureau within APD. The police union says he’s independent and open-minded. And he says he knows ―the ins and outs of this department and the external aspect of that, as well.‖ ―This department‖ is in the middle of a Department of Justice investigation into a pattern of alleged civil rights violations, stemming from 19 fatal police shootings since 2010, the most recent two weeks ago. Ongoing federal investigations are focused on the actions of individual officers in specific situations. So it is absolutely the right thing to do to put policing before politics, put a trusted member of the force in charge short term and wait to appoint a new chief until after the election. That allows time for a local and national search, for Banks to try on the job and decide if he wants to be considered as a permanent replacement, and for whoever is in the Mayor’s Office come Dec. 1 to name the chief he will work with for at least four years. And it works to keep the focus of the serious, often heated questioning of APD’s culture and actions where it should be, in the legal arena, not the political one. This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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