APD selects former commander to be new 4th deputy chief

Posted at: 04/08/2014 11:53 AM
Updated at: 04/08/2014 10:15 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Albuquerque Police Department has named a new 4th deputy chief to help make improvements at the department.

That man, Robert Huntsman, is very familiar with the department. Former APD Commander Huntsman served APD for more than 29 years before retiring in May 2012.

“He was a very smart... I still want to call him a young man,” former APD officer Mark Bralley said.

Bralley says he knew Huntsman when he was just started at APD. Bralley says he was sharp and his rise was rapid.

“He was a very young sargent,” Bralley said.

Huntsman headed up swat operations, bomb squad and K-9 units. He also coached cadets at APD’s academy and was later made commander. He found himself in charge of 1000 critical incidents and Bralley says officers were impressed with how he handled them.

“He's very level headed... the experience is, just that many years in the job, brings a lot,” Bralley said.

Huntsman will be in charge of officer accountability. Critics wanted someone with no ties to APD.

“I'd rather have an outside source actually come in to evaluate and see what really is going on,” Ryan Johnson said.

But Bralley disagrees.

“Somebody from the outside is kind of crippled without having this organization that is very much like a family,” Bralley said.

Huntsman is being hired as a fourth deputy chief to work directly with the Department of Justice. The DOJ has been investigating APD for a year and a half. Among other things, he’ll try to make sure what they want done gets done. He’s coming out of retirement, where he was working a consulting job, to make $112,000 a year.