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APD promoting commander to deputy chief

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department has a new deputy chief.

During a ceremony next Thursday, Macario “Mac” Page will take over APD’s Criminal Investigations Bureau from Paul Feist, who retired Dec. 31, according to a department spokeswoman.

Page, who started at APD in 1990, has been serving as the APD Southwest Area commander since April 2010. He will now oversee units including homicide, burglary, narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence and white collar crimes.

Also on Thursday, four sergeants will be promoted to lieutenant and six officers will be promoted to sergeant.

Among the new sergeants is Drew Bader, who was removed from his position as a team leader in the APD SWAT unit in mid-July after the Journal obtained a lapel camera video of him growing increasingly frustrated as he and another officer stood behind an armored vehicle.

The video showed Bader and another sergeant criticizing laws and APD policies governing whether they could use force against Santiago Chavez, who was barricaded inside a home on 67th Street SW. At one point, Bader used a falsetto tone to mock either Chavez or a member of his family who was at the scene.

Eventually, Bader and Chavez exchanged gunfire. No one was struck, but Chavez killed himself after the SWAT team fired tear gas, flash-bang grenades and other devices at the home.

At the time, Police Chief Ray Schultz called the conversation “boy talk” but also said some of the comments were “inappropriate.” Commander Harold Medina removed Bader from his position as a team leader.

Also being promoted to sergeant is Felipe Garcia, who for the past several months has been working on the APD Smart Policing program. Last spring, Garcia stepped down as vice president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association amid allegations of misspent union dues and revelations that the union had been paying officers involved in shootings up to $500 apiece. Union officials at the time said the money was intended to allow the officers to take some time out of town to decompress.

A State Police investigation into the spending allegations didn’t indicate any wrongdoing by Garcia. The investigation did show evidence of “what appears to be fraud” by then-union President Joey Sigala, but no charges have brought.

The other new sergeants are: Kenneth Johnston, Scott Norris, Terysa Welch and Darcy McDermitt.

APD’s new lieutenants are Paul Szych, Joshua McDonald, Donovan Olvera and Michael Smith.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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