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Breaking: Mayor names Banks interim police chief

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Deputy Chief Allen Banks will take over as interim head of the Albuquerque Police Department in about two weeks, upon the retirement of Ray Schultz.

The city has never had an African-American chief of police, according to the mayor’s office. Banks, who’s African American, said he hasn’t made a final decision on whether to apply for the permanent job.

But he said he’s proud of his heritage, background and accomplishments and pointed out that he grew up in Albuquerque.

Berry said he will conduct a national and local search for candidates. If he wins re-election this fall, Berry said, he will appoint a new chief a few months after that.

The city election is Oct. 8. If a runoff between the top candidates is needed, it would occur in mid- to late-November.

Banks will take over as interim chief on Aug. 3. Schultz will remain as an adviser through Sept. 6.

Berry said more than one person mentioned Banks’ work when Berry knocked on doors as a mayoral candidate four years ago.

“He’s known in the community,” Berry said. “He’s known in the department.”

Banks has served as a deputy chief since 2009 and he’s been with the department for more than 20 years. As deputy chief, he’s overseen the field services, APD’s largest division.

The change in leadership comes as APD faces an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and criticism over the number of people shot and killed by police. Learn more about Schultz’s decision to retire and the state of the department here.

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