Interim APD chief seeks post permanently - Albuquerque Journal

Interim APD chief seeks post permanently

Interim Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

For now, Harold Medina is Albuquerque’s interim police chief while the city conducts a nationwide search, but he wants the permanent position.

“I fully intend to apply for the job and I will use this time to show the direction I want to move this department,” he said.

Some, including the president of the police union, have brought up the question of whether the city can find a chief from the outside at this time, given that Mayor Tim Keller will be up for reelection next year and potential candidates might not want to uproot their lives if the leadership could change. The job has been posted on the city’s website, and will be sent out nationally to relevant national organizations.

Medina said he wants to “put the focus back on crime” and wants to make sure officers are doing warrant round-up operations throughout the city, not just certain neighborhoods.

“We started this anti-crime campaign about 28 days ago and we started with looking for individuals with warrants,” Medina said. “I think one of the things I bring to this position that a lot of people haven’t brought is I’m actually a street cop that actually did this my entire career.”

He said he also wants to strengthen investigators’ relationships with other agencies, including the Attorney General’s Office, the New Mexico State Police and the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

“I want to create a focus of our officers having a goal in mind, having a mission and a purpose …,” Medina said. “We all became officers to make the community safer.”

Medina, 48, was hired by the Albuquerque Police Department in 1995 and worked his way up through the ranks to commander. He was a sergeant and lieutenant over patrol units and then a commanding officer overseeing the special operations division, which included SWAT, the K9 unit and the bomb squad.

Medina left APD in 2014 and went to the Laguna Pueblo, where he eventually became chief of police. He said that in 2017 when Michael Geier called and asked him if he wanted to be deputy chief, he said yes.

For the past couple of years he has been the deputy chief over the field services bureau. During the summer the command staff was restructured and he was made “first deputy chief.”

Medina said at one point he had considered retiring, running for Bernalillo County Sheriff, or taking a job in a bigger city in another state.

Last Thursday, when the Journal met with Medina at the Downtown headquarters, all four deputy chiefs and the deputy chief of staff filed into a fifth-floor conference room before a meeting of the department’s Force Review Board.

“We’re unified together,” said Michael Smathers, now the first deputy chief. “There’s a lot of white noise out there that might give you a different impression that is not factual and not true. We’re unified behind Chief Medina, unified in support of Mayor (Tim) Keller. We all live here … we’re highly dedicated and I think that message is lost sometimes.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Interim APD chief seeks post permanently

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Former Lobo Udeze shines in all-star game at Final ...
ABQnews Seeker
Former Lobo Morris Udeze was named ... Former Lobo Morris Udeze was named MVP of the College Basketball All-Star Game in his hometown of Houston on Friday.
Tuition bump? UNM administration seeks 3% tuition hike, 6% ...
ABQnews Seeker
Tuition and fees for in-state students ... Tuition and fees for in-state students would be $11,380 for one year
Fewer police officer positions, a goodbye to extra COVID ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mayor Tim Keller on Friday released ... Mayor Tim Keller on Friday released his plan for fiscal year 2024, which includes a slightly smaller budget after years of significant growth.
Photos: Grants High School baseball team beats St. Pius ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico Supreme Court blocks ordinances restricting access to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Five Eastern New Mexico jurisdictions had ... Five Eastern New Mexico jurisdictions had passed ordinances that activists call "de facto abortion bans."
Local hospitals are lifting their mask mandates
ABQnews Seeker
Presbyterian, UNMH, Christus St. Vincent and ... Presbyterian, UNMH, Christus St. Vincent and the Lovelace make joint announcement
In split ruling, Court of Appeals vacates former NM ...
ABQnews Seeker
Former New Mexico tax department head ... Former New Mexico tax department head Demesia Padilla's two felony convictions that stemmed from a lengthy public corruption investigation were vacated Friday by the ...
Albuquerque police officer resigns after allegation of 'inappropriate contact' ...
ABQnews Seeker
An Albuquerque police officer resigned on ... An Albuquerque police officer resigned on Friday after officials said he refused to cooperate in an investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate contact ...
Police release clearer photo of truck allegedly involved in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crime Stoppers have released a clear ... Crime Stoppers have released a clear photo of a pickup truck believed to be involved in the homicide of a motorcyclist earlier this month ...