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APD's Internal Affairs Commander Demoted

The former commander of APD's Internal Affairs unit has been demoted after an investigation found that she altered and backdated internal investigative document.

That former commander, Jennifer Garcia, has been busted to the rank of lieutenant and has been reassigned to the Field Services Bureau, said APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos.

The investigation into Garcia began in March after the Albuquerque Police Officers Association complained about her behavior. The city hired an outside firm to conduct the investigation. and Garcia was transferred to the Traffic Division.

Here's what Gallegos said about Garcia's demotion:

“Chief Geier agreed with the findings of an outside investigation into an incident involving former APD Internal Affairs Acting Commander Jennifer Garcia, and in response demoted her to the rank of Lieutenant. The investigation, which started as an Internal Affairs investigation, was later sent to the Legal Department, which hired a third party to ensure there were no conflicts of interest. Garcia was transferred to the Traffic Division during the investigation. She will now serve as a Lieutenant in the Field Services Bureau.”

Gallegos also said that the former director of APD's training academy, John Sullivan, was removed from that job for allegedly failing to meet goals and standards. Here's what Gallegos said about Sullivan's situation:

“The rank of commander is an at-will position, which means an individual can be relieved of duty at any time. As we restructured APD to dedicate more resources to fighting crime and implementing needed reforms, Chief Geier placed all Commanders in acting positions subject to review. All commanders were required to report on the progress of their commands, and the result of that was that some commanders were moved back down to the position of Lieutenant. The Commander in charge of the police academy, Mr. John Sullivan, was one of the commanders who did not meet the performance standards we are committed to as we work to change the culture at APD, such as implementing reforms or incorporating community policing principles into the curriculum for cadets. In fact, the academy has been identified as one of the primary areas where DOJ compliance is falling behind. Two Commanders, including Mr. Sullivan, who were notified that they would be moved to Lieutenant positions chose to retire instead. We have appointed a new Commander to the academy who embraces accountability and will instill that in our officers as they begin their important work of keeping the public safe.”

Gallegos also said that APD has made other command changes:

1. Valley Commander Josh McDonald retired. He is being replaced by acting Commander Zachary Wesley

2. Academy Commander John Sullivan retired. He is being replaced by acting Commander Angela Byrd

3. Southwest Commander Michelle Campbell took over as Commander of the Compliance Bureau. She is replaced at Southwest by Acting Commander Timothy Espinosa.

4. Traffic Commander Jennifer Garcia will become a Lieutenant and serve in the Field Services Bureau.

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