Keller and the APD Mean Girls
Since Mayor Keller’s secret holiday meeting in the park to fire, or retire, APD Chief of Police Mike Geier, all of Albuquerque has witnessed what members of APD rank and file have known for years, APD command staff is in it for themselves. The community and loyalty to their officers be damned.
In the past, to be a commander or deputy chief of police at APD an officer would have to read books like Lincoln on Leadership, Front Line Leader and Police Tactics. Under Keller’s APD those books have been burned. Keller’s required books are The Prince (Machiavelli) and Mean Girls. This is how APD command staff has been acting under Keller’s direction.
Former chief, Mike Geier, has had interviews at every local TV station to complain about how he was stabbed in the back and slandered by Interim Chief Harold Medina. Last week the Albuquerque Journals Up Front column went to bat for Geier. That was followed by a lengthy editorial by Geier himself, who continued to complain loudly that he was the victim of a devious plot to get rid of him by Keller, Sarita Nair and Medina. Geier complains about everyone, including DOJ Monitor Dr. Ginger (who keeps sucking our tax dollars away with no end in sight). Geier acts like a woman scorned and revenge is the plate he is serving.
Not to be outdone, Medina followed up Geier’s media blitz with one of his own. Where he blames everything bad at APD on Geier. Medina went so far as to state that he was a victim of slander. With Geier and Medina the lesson they teach is nothing is ever their fault. That is not leadership.
Medina also stated that he has the loyalty of the current deputy chiefs of police. Is this the same loyalty that Medina once professed for the person who appointed him? Yeah, that was Mike Geier.
What has this loyal group of deputy chiefs done for Medina to prove their loyalty? They wrote (or signed I should say, nothing is done without Keller and Sarita approval, so I doubt they wrote it) their own letter to the Journal editors complaining about Geier. One of these chiefs (Olvera) was only hired five days ago, which was weeks after Geier was dismissed. But when it comes to kissing the ring of the person in charge, not being present doesn’t really matter, now does it.
Imagine the scene when Keller, Nair and Medina called these deputy chiefs before them, to sign this letter of Geier damnation. Each DCOP (deputy chief of police) would prostrate themselves on the floor in front of King Keller, Queen Nair and Prince Medina, all professing more loyalty than the others. Or was it a scene from the Salem Witch Trials, you know where teenage girls are pointing a finger of blasphemy at a picture of Geier, while they howl and scream in pain.
We don’t have leaders at Kellers’ police department, we have victims and panderers. Does anyone wonder why Albuquerque has high crime? Why every action from APD command staff is met with a roll of the eyes from the rank and file officers (NFL jersey Fridays)? Why businesses and neighborhoods are begging Sheriff Gonzales to police their town. Part of the answer is the clown show being presented by Kellers’ APD command staff.
Keller, Medina and Nair would do well to read The Prince, because this is the environment that they have created at APD 5th floor (chiefs office). If Medina believes he has the unbridled loyalty of his DCOP’s then he will soon find out that what he did to Geier will be revisited upon himself. It’s their culture.
Public servants, from mayor to CAO to police command to the cop on the beat, should remember that their loyalty is never to an individual. Their loyalty is to their oath of office, to their community, to the law, to the Constitution and to their agency. Loyalty placed with an individual is misplaced. Keller, Nair, Medina and the DCOP’s should be so quick to show their loyalty to the rank and file of APD, instead of each other.
Sadly, the Kellers’ APD command clown show will continue and the community and police department will suffer for it. Keller, Nair, Medina and the DCOP’s cannot change who they are, Mean Girls.