Española public safety director named Santa Fe’s new police chief

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Posted: Monday, June 2, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 9:40 pm, Mon Jun 2, 2014.

The city of Española’s public safety director will become Santa Fe’s police chief.

Eric Garcia will take the helm at the Santa Fe Police Department starting June 16 at a salary of $104,000 a year, a city news release said Monday. Ray Rael, who resigned as Santa Fe police chief in March following the election of Mayor Javier Gonzales, earned the same amount.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Dean Norris posted at 11:10 pm on Thu, Jun 5, 2014.

    Dean Norris Posts: 5

    "First, they describe a vehicle moving toward the officer (for instance trying to drive away) as "use of deadly force", and begin firing."
    If a vehicle is moving towards the officer and he/she feels the vehicle may be used as a weapon against them then deadly force applies. The application of deadly force does not stop as the vehicle is passing the officer and becomes a judgement call when to stop after the vehicle has passed. The application of force (using a firearm) indicates the want to place the individual(s) into custody. The officers are obligated to use what means necessary to apprehend the individual once the application of deadly force has been initiated to include a pursuit.
    As far as weapons being pointed at an individual, again we speak of a show of force not a use of force. Pointing a weapon at an individual is an attempt to elicit cooperation so force does not have to be used and has specific guidelines the officer must be able to explain.
    Nobody likes having a weapon pointed at them. If the situation warrants the show of force then its up to the officer to explain his reasons. Pursuit policies in the state are bound by the Safe Pursuit Act NMSA 29-20-1. The policies can be made more stringent by each department but cannot be lessened. The Use of Force Continuim is a nationally recognized tool used by police departments to train officers. You may google both to gain a better understanding.

  • Ryan Newman posted at 11:51 am on Wed, Jun 4, 2014.

    Jameson Posts: 13

    Haha, yea Chris Cord you really need a hobby!

  • Peter Neal posted at 7:19 am on Wed, Jun 4, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 286

    Those "stupid hats" were worn by NMSP long before the existence of the SS. It's called tradition. SFPD officers have similar hats as part of their uniform, but for them, it is optional to wear it. Does a hat really "intimidate" you?

  • Chris Mechels posted at 4:32 pm on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    Chris Mechels Posts: 65

    Dean, thanks for your interest. There are two serious problems with SF policies. First, they describe a vehicle moving toward the officer (for instance trying to drive away) as "use of deadly force", and begin firing. They also believe that it justifies a High Speed Pursuit, and by our state law, it doesn't. Most recently that happened with the man shot in the face last year, after "stealing" his mother's car. Even APD does not allow shooting in such instances. The State Police does allow it, so in that sense SF and the State Police are even WORSE that APD.

    Another case of illegal SFPD Use of Force policy is section 72.1.06 "Reduction in Reaction Time" which encourages a too early introduction of firearms under the rubric of "reducing reaction time". This explains why SF police, and the State Police have an unfortunate habit of pointing their gun at your head. This leads to unjustified shootings and killings. The SF Pursuit Policy and Use of Force policy both need to be reworked and brought up to current standards. Las Cruces has done this recently and has the best policies in the state.

    Both SFPD and the SF Sheriff's Office need to rework their policies, and then follow them. Neither meets the DOJ standards for APD.

    The State Police Pursuit Policy and Use of Force are also illegal.

  • Chris Cord posted at 3:30 pm on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    C hris Cord Posts: 1

    Seriously! I am extremely disgruntled and hide behind an annonimous system that helps in hiding my true identity. I bring shame to myself and enjoy stabbing people in the back. Louise, I purposely misspell your name because I am passive aggressive and enjoy shaking your hand even though I don't have the stones, literally, to say it face to face. Thank you SFNM!

  • Mark Ordonez posted at 2:21 pm on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 657

    " in turn have officers that are happier with the workplace which would transfer over to their interaction with the public. "....In theory officer Newman. Don't you think it would be better to weed out the misanthropes or those who can't be professional regardless of what the job entails BEFORE you issue them a uniform? Are the recruits observed in the worst of conditions before being hired? I understand they are human but they are pursuing a career like no other. You'd definitely would hope that your physician, electrician, domestic violence case worker, lawyer, rock climbing instructor, babysitter, has the nerve and demeanor for the job before you entrusted them to do a job with little room for error?
    I understand you are a police officer and thank you for your service. I'm sure you'll suggest a ride-a-long, and you surely have many stories about the slime you "have" to deal with rather than saying you "choose" to deal with, well, because you accepted the position. In any case, as one who has a certain generalized attitude towards cops, I do appreciate you offering feedback. Dialogue leads to understanding IMHO.

  • Ryan Newman posted at 1:22 pm on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    Jameson Posts: 13

    The pros to increasing officer morale is better customer service! The easiest way to understand this is to imagine your in public service and daily your subject to negativity in the form of dealing with criminals, drugs, death and everything an officer deals with. Add to that you hardly ever get a lunch much less breaks and your going from one call to the next but the public expects a friendly encounter. When you increase morale such as a 4 day a week schedule among other things you in turn have officers that are happier with the workplace which would transfer over to their interaction with the public.

  • Mark Ordonez posted at 1:12 pm on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 657

    Eeee can't you follow the rules by using your real name Senor Ranger?

  • Dean Norris posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    Dean Norris Posts: 5

    Chris I am interested in finding out what is illegal about the pursuit and use of force policies? Can you explain or send me a link please??

  • Mark Ordonez posted at 10:46 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 657

    Officer morale is at the top of his list. What does this mean? Peter Neal, any insight? What exactly lifts an officer's morale and what are some of the pros to the citizens of Santa Fe, when this is achieved?

    I can't begin to understand how stressful the job may be. What I'm hoping is if the officers can have their morale lifted, be properly compensated, can remember they got into the field (hopefully) with good intentions, that this will keep them from treating the community that pays them to protect and serve them, with such disdain and disrespect. If they were to exhibit a more professional behavior with the public instead of one of total arrogance and entitlement, WE, the citizens of Santa Fe could be even more supportive, cooperative, and grateful, in turn.
    Good luck Chief Garcia and SFPD with your new boss.

  • Randall Dean posted at 10:05 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    ddaarr Posts: 9

    Does he have a college degree??

  • LEONARD MILES posted at 9:53 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    Itsjustalila Posts: 8

    Sadly he looks like an SS officer. Why do they wear those stupid hats? Intimidation and self importance. Great "new" start for the city different.

  • Chris Mechels posted at 8:41 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    Chris Mechels Posts: 65

    So, we have the first big mismanagement of Javier Gonzales. We will have a lot more. The whole selection process showed a lack of understanding of the real police problems in Santa Fe, and a focus on appearances rather than substance. In a word, the Mayor's style.

    Garcia is a bad choice, because he comes from a bad culture, the State Police. The State Police are right up there with the APD for senseless violence and poor management, and also corruption. For instance, illegal Pursuit Policies and illegal Use of Force policies, which led to the murder of Jeanette Anaya by Officer Wilson, which was then covered up by the State Police "internal investigation" and DA Spence Pacheco, leading the Grand Jury around by the nose.

    Yes, Garcia will feel right at home in Santa Fe, with its senseless violence and illegal policies. He'll fit right in, and no reforms will be forthcoming as none are needed.... right.

    Also not mentioned in the selection process is that our new SFPD Officers are getting arguably the WORST training in the state, following upon recent LEA changes. Far too much violence and too little on community policing and patrolling.

    Yes, a sign of things to come. SNAFU!!! No discussion of the police problems during the Mayor's campaign, and none now. How cozy. More mayhem to come.

  • Francisco Carbajal posted at 7:38 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2014.

    FranciscoCarbajal Posts: 219

    Yeah, it's about time for a new police chief appointment to get to work. Now, let's hope the city hall folks do not micro-managed the police department and let the chief do his job without obstacles. [wink]

  • Chris Cord posted at 10:21 pm on Mon, Jun 2, 2014.

    Corder Posts: 21

    I hope he makes a good decision on his command staff. According to Lt. Louise Carlos he told many of his officers the mayor called him in the morning and told him he was going to recommend to Eric he chose Carlos as a Deputy Chief. I just have to say look close to the history of Carlos........!!!!!


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