ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department appointed the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church as a community outreach liaison.
Rebecca Atkins, an APD spokeswoman, wrote in a news release that Pastor David Walker will represent the city at Civilian Police Oversight Agency board meetings, Community Policing Councils and others related to the reform effort. He will also attend community meetings and will meet regularly with interim police chief Harold Medina about issues he hears about.
“Community policing requires constant engagement with a broad range of organizations and residents who have a stake in everything we do at APD,” Chief Medina said in the news release. “We started down this path when James Lewis served a similar role at the start of the administration. I am a big believer in partnerships, and I need someone like Mr. Walker to help us build bridges with the diverse communities we serve.”
Walker, from Hobbs, worked as a deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in Wichita, Kansas for nine years, Atkins said. He moved back to Albuquerque 21 years ago and became a pastor.
“This is an opportunity to help build trust and confidence between the Albuquerque Police Department and the community,” Walker said.
Walker’s first day with APD was Friday and he attended, but did not speak at, the federal court hearing about the city’s progress in police reforms.