LAS CRUCES – The city of Las Cruces announced Tuesday that Patrick G. Gallagher has been hired as the new chief of the Las Cruces Police Department.
The city announced Gallagher’s hiring in a news release that was issued at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Gallagher, who currently serves as the police chief for the Santa Fe Police Department, will begin his new assignment with the Las Cruces Police Department on Jan. 15.
“Following a thorough recruitment process that involved community groups, representatives of the local police union and senior level associates, I am pleased to report that we have selected an outstanding candidate to be our next police chief,” City Manager Stuart C. Ed said in statement. “Patrick G. Gallagher, who currently serves as police chief in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be joining us as successor to Chief Jaime Montoya who retires at the end of this year.”
Montoya, a 26-year veteran of LCPD who was named police chief in December 2013, announced his plans to retire in late July. His last day with the department will be Dec. 23. In early August, the Las Cruces Police Officers Association gave a vote of no confidence to LCPD’s command staff, which Ed suggested in an August news release was related to Montoya’s retirement announcement.
The president of the union, Officer David Gonzalez, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.
City officials said Gallagher has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Gallagher, 54, worked for 23 years in the New York City Police Department, climbing the ranks from patrol officer to deputy inspector. During that time, he also served as the captain/internal affairs bureau division commander, World Trade Center Zone Commander (who directed and assessed recovery and physical operations at the “Ground Zero” crime scene following the 9/11 attack) and executive officer for the 60th Precinct.
In 2009, he became the police chief in Truth or Consequences, where he worked for three years before relocating to Santa Fe to oversee the police department’s Internal Affairs Division.
In July 2015, Gallagher was named interim police chief after the abrupt departure of a police chief who had only served 13 months in the position, the New Mexican reported. In January 2016, Gallagher was appointed chief on a full-time basis.
Gallagher, a native of Brooklyn, earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Fordham University and his master of public administration from Marist College.
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