Friday, September 19, 2014

There is Life After APD!

Just north of Travis County and the city of Austin, Texas, is Williamson County, where the city of Round Rock is located.
In March 2014, Round Rock Police department hired a new chief, Allen Banks.
Banks, as deputy chief, had been interim chief here in Albuquerque following Chief Raymond Schultz’ retirement.
On a recent road trip with my buddy Rocky Nogales, to attend a wedding of his sister, we ran into Banks as he filled his SUV at a local gas station.

Click on badge and see the center showing a cowboy, cattle, and the round rock.
Nogales and I had planned on tracking down Banks to see how his new world was treating him, but instead, he rolled up on where we were.
Banks is doing fine. He commands a 155-officer department. 
While talking with us, the wife of an officer came over to shake the chief’s hand and to introduce herself to him, commenting, she and her husband were very pleased at how he was directing the department.
Motorcycle Officer Jesse Rodriguez, whom we had seen running radar earlier, pulled in to get gas. I noticed his name was on the lower fairing and asked Banks about it.
The name of every officer is on their marked take-home vehicles, Banks said. It is part of his community policing effort, and he says it has been well received.
I approached Rodriguez, introducing myself as having worked with Banks in Albuquerque.
Rodriguez approached Banks, shook his hand, and joined our conversation.
These two contacts seemed truly sincere.
Later in the day I went to the font of all truth in a community – the barbershop to get a shave.
The barber, sporting tattoos, admitted to knowing members of the Banditos motorcycle club. He also said he had several clients who were Round Rock police officers.
The man slinging the razor reported, every officer told him they were impressed with Banks and believed they were on the right path.
Banks may have wanted to lead APD, but it is apparent that he has found a new, welcoming home, with good workers, and community support.
Banks said his family was pleased with the move, his in-laws having moved into the area a few years back. He was wearing his long-sleeved dress uniform as he was on his way to watch his sister present her dissertation for a PhD.. in nursing management from the University of Texas at Austin's School of Nursing Doctoral program.
My Take

Banks made a very good move, for several reasons:
He is unburdened by the problems of the Albuquerque Police Department, some of which he had occurred under his watch.
APD’s problems are bigger than a single change in rank from the inside could overcome. This is evidenced by the continued and increasing issues since Bank’s departure.

Financially, he is pulling down a very good retirement through the State of New Mexico’s system and is now receiving a good salary in a healthy economy,

What he could not accomplish at Albuquerque Police Department, the community of Round Rock is now going to enjoy.

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