ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The interim chief of Albuquerque’s embattled police department is heading to Texas.
Chief Allen Banks announced Tuesday he is retiring at the end of next month to become chief of another agency.
Hours later, Round Rock, Texas, City Manager Steve Norwood announced that Banks has been selected as the Austin suburb’s new chief.
“This decision was difficult,” Banks said in an email. “I prayed, talked with my family and sought the advice of the people I trust. I had to do what was best for the ones I care so deeply about.”
Banks was named interim Albuquerque chief after Ray Schultz retired last summer amid calls for new leadership.
The Albuquerque Police Department is under a U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation into allegations of excessive force and three dozen shootings by officers since 2010.
Stephanie Lopez, president of the police officers’ union, told the Albuquerque Journal she believes Banks left because Mayor Richard Berry took too long deciding whether to keep him permanently.
In a statement on the department’s Facebook page, Norwood said Round Rock was pleased to have Banks in the department.
“I’m really excited for Allen to join our team,” Norwood said. “His experience, attitude and values are a great fit for the department and the city.”
Banks also said he was excited to join Round Rock.
“I’m looking forward to moving my family to the community and being an active part of the community,” he said.
Banks will replace outgoing Round Rock Police Chief Tim Ryle, who is retiring.