ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The feds want APD to make some changes and some of the shakeup has already started.
Thursday evening, APD announced they’re making even more positions for the top brass, but the late announcement raises more questions than answers.
They’re creating the rank of Major and promoting two commanders to the position.
Now, there will be the Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Majors and Commanders in the top leadership.
In a statement, Chief Gordon Eden said the change is in response to the DOJ report, which said officers need more supervision.
He did not say DOJ specifically recommended creating the positions.
“This change is based on successful command models used by other police agencies,” Eden said in a statement. “It will provide more oversight and direction for the officers in the field.”
The Majors will be overseeing field officers in the East and West command areas.
APD said they’d promote two current Commanders to Majors: Anthony Montano and Tim Gonterman.
Gonterman has a history.
He was an officer back in 2006 when a federal jury ruled against him and two other officers, saying he used excessive force for using a Taser on a homeless man, Jerome Hall, to the point that Hall suffered severed burns and lost part of his ear.
Hall had been warned not to walk along Central when he was tased. City attorneys had maintained the officers had probable cause to arrest Hall, including public nuisance and disorderly conduct.
The jury awarded Hall $300,000, and the next day, Hall was found murdered.
No one was arrested for the murder.
“That incident took place 12 years ago when Taser technology was new,” Gonterman said in a statement to News 13. “It was a mistake, and I have learned from that mistake. I have taken responsibility for it.”
These new positions mean other officers are moving up the ranks.
APD is short field officers.
As of April, there were only 386 officers available to take calls for service.
APD responds to more than half a million calls for service each year.