ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Last Wednesday, Mayor R.J. Berry unveiled a list of reforms designed to get APD moving in the right direction before the findings of a federal investigation are announced.
One of the items Berry mentioned was hiring a fourth deputy chief to implement DOJ’s new reforms, oversee Internal Affairs and improve how APD hires and trains its officers.
Less than a week later, that new job is being filled by a familiar face.
APD Chief Gorden Eden announced Tuesday APD has rehired former commander Robert Huntsman as its newest deputy chief.
“Huntsman is ideally qualified to take the lead on these initiatives which will be directly tied to DOJ findings but will also involve proactive measures,” Berry said in a press release.
Huntsman graduated from APD’s Academy in 1983. He helped train officers in the 1990s before being promoted to oversee APD’s bomb squad and SWAT team. A city news release touts Huntsman’s ability to resolve situations peacefully and safely.
But a number of controversial officers joined Huntsman’s unit during his time leading it, including James Boyd shooter Keith Sandy and Sean Wallace, who has shot three unarmed men in his career.
City Council President Ken Sanchez questioned the timing of the hire, but praised the man chosen.
“He’s got a great track record with [APD] and I think they picked the right individual for this job,” Sanchez said. “He’s part of the old regime, but at the same time, he has that institutional knowledge which I think is vital moving forward.”
Huntsman will make $112,000 a year in his new role.
An APD spokesperson declined to make either Eden or Huntsman available for an interview Tuesday, saying both men were simply too busy preparing for Thursday’s big DOJ announcement.