Troubled Albuquerque police chief heading to Round Rock

Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks

The Round Rock Police Department will have a new leader in March.

According to Jenni Lee, a spokesperson for RRPD, Allen Banks will be the new chief. He is expected to begin work in early March.

Banks hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was serving as the interim police chief since August 2013 when Chief Ray Schultz stepped down. Schultz left his position while a jury was deliberating the wrongful death suit of a 7-year-old who had been shot and killed by police. The jury awarded the family more than $10 million.

City Manager Steve Norwood says they believe Banks is right for the job. “He is the perfect fit for Round Rock and he can bring the community involvement that we need.”

Norwood said Banks is respected in New Mexico for his work with kids through the DARE program.

“His strength is in his ability to connect with people,” Norwood said.

According to KXAN’s sister station, KRQE, Banks announced his resignation on Wednesday morning. Banks also posted a video to YouTube addressing the Albuquerque community.

Banks has held positions within the Albuquerque Police Department’s Police Academy, and with the Internal Affairs Department, both of which are under investigation as part of a Department of Justice inquiry. Albuquerque’s police department has been under federal investigation since November 2012 because of the 35 officer-involved shootings they’ve had since 2010, 22 of them fatal. Banks had been with the Albuquerque Police Department for 21 years.

When asked about the federal investigation into Bank’s current police department, Norwood says Round Rock leaders are well aware of the issues.

“That’s not the way to do it in Round Rock, and he understands that very clearly.”

Round Rock had two officer involved shootings last summer, but in both cases, the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.

RRPD’s current chief, Tim Ryle, will retire next month. He has been the police chief since Oct. 2011.

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