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APD names new deputy chief to oversee reforms

Robert Huntsman will soon serve as the department's fourth deputy chief, a position announced last week as a way to help implement findings of a comprehensive DOJ investigation into APD

By Patrick Lohmann
Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police chief Gorden Eden has named a retired commander as the department's newly created deputy chief who will oversee the reforms announced by the Department of Justice, crisis intervention training for officers and police training and Internal Affairs.

Robert Huntsman will soon serve as the department's fourth deputy chief, a position announced last week as a way to help implement findings of a comprehensive DOJ investigation into APD and as a "proactive" method of improving officer training and accountability.

Huntsman will make $112,000 a year as the next deputy chief, and his title will be deputy chief of the Professionalism and Standards Bureau.

He retired from APD in May 2012.

Read the full text of the news release announcing Huntsman's hiring below:

Today Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden Jr. announced retired Albuquerque Police Department Commander Robert Huntsman will be returning to the department as the fourth Deputy Chief overseeing some of the most critical components of APD's operations including implementation of Department of Justice findings, the Internal Affairs Unit, the Academy and overall department training of police personnel. Deputy Chief Huntsman began his position in the chief's office earlier today.

As the newest member of the Albuquerque Police Department leadership team, Deputy Chief Huntsman will be charged with overseeing the $1 million set aside in the proposed FY '15 budget designated for initiatives related to the evaluation, training and implementation of policies and reforms relating to police interaction with people living with mental illness with a focus on de-escalation and other crisis intervention strategies.  He has invaluable experience working in the field and as a supervisor with direct oversight of incidents involving people in crisis. He will be directly responsible for ensuring that all field officers receive full Crisis Intervention response certification, a key priority for the department going forward.

Deputy Chief Huntsman has extensive law enforcement experience having previously served as the Northeast Area Commander prior to retirement. He spent ten years as the lieutenant overseeing special units including SWAT, bomb squad, K-9 unit and Horse Mounted Patrol. As such his primary approach was focused on the safe and peaceful resolution of critical incidents, of which he has managed over 1,000. Deputy Chief Huntsman has worked as a watch commander in the Northeast, West side and Valley area commands. He was also assigned to the Academy in the early 1990s where he was responsible for the basic training of police recruits. He is a 1983 graduate of the Albuquerque Police Academy and has been a certified law enforcement instructor for over 29 years. He has taught such courses as Human Rights, Critical Incident Management, and Incident Command Systems. Since retirement he has worked as a contractor for the U.S. Department of State, Dignitary Security Service, Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program instructing in the areas of Human Rights and Dignitary Protection, among others.

"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 to ensure we are providing the best and most progressive training as it relates to de-escalation and police response to calls involving people living with mental illness," stated Mayor Richard J. Berry.

"We are fortunate to be able to bring on an experienced law enforcement leader with a broad perspective in police management and oversight. Deputy Chief Huntsman's focused leadership in training and accountability will be of tremendous benefit to both the department personnel and the community we serve," stated Chief Eden.

Deputy Chief Huntsman serves in an appointed capacity and will earn a salary of $112,000 annually.

Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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