Democrat Tim Keller takes helm as Albuquerque's new mayor

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2017 12:32 AM
Democrat Tim Keller takes helm as Albuquerque's new mayor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Tim Keller took over as mayor of New Mexico's largest city Friday amid rising crime and a struggling economy.

The former New Mexico state auditor promised to immediately make changes to Albuquerque's troubled police department.

"We will support our law enforcement, get them the resources they need and bring trust back between our law enforcement and citizens," Keller said in a speech at his inauguration ceremony at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday night

Keller has already made appointments including tapping former Rio Rancho Police Chief Mike Geier as Albuquerque's interim chief and civil rights lawyer Oriana Sandoval as deputy city attorney. Keller said Sandoval will focus on immigrants and refugees in the city.

Keller replaces Mayor Richard Berry, a Republican, who did not seek re-election after eight years in office.

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The Albuquerque-born Keller is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He takes over a city experiencing one of the largest number of homicides in decades and a rising violent crime rate.

The city also is under a federal court order to revamp its police department following more than 40 police shootings since 2010.