BOSQUE FARMS — After only eight months, a local village is saying goodbye to another police chief.
Friday, July 20, will be Bosque Farms Police Chief Angela Byrd’s last day with the department before moving on to become the academy commander for the Albuquerque Police Department.
Byrd was sworn in as chief in late October, after 10 months with the department. Byrd took the position after former chief Greg Jones retired after seven years as chief.
“They came to me,” Byrd said of APD. “This was a decision I made with a heavy heart. I love working here — the people here. I’ve made some lasting relationships.”
The chief said APD officials reached out to her based on her extensive experience as a master-certified instructor and in curriculum development.
Byrd, who has been a certified law enforcement officer since 1994, earned her master’s degree in criminal justice and was a traveling professor in Kansas, teaching at several colleges in the state before being offered a full-time position at Bethel College to restorative justice.
In 2007, the University of the Southwest in Hobbs offered her a position in its criminal justice program and, a year later, the Southeastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, also in Hobbs, asked Byrd to come on as its deputy director, a position she held until December 2016 when she joined BFPD.
As the APD academy commander, Byrd will oversee all aspects of the department’s training — from basic and advanced training, background checks and recruiting. The chief said the position will definitely be a challenge.
“The culture needs to be changed,” she said, “but not a lot of people have the opportunity to come into a department that is under reform, especially one under Department of Justice.”
In her eight months as chief, Byrd said she is proud of what she has accomplished — upgrading the department’s portable radios, replacing the in-car computers and upgrading to new CAD software and creating the position and hiring an evidence technician — a first for the village.
The two that stand out the most though are the creation of a K-9 unit and getting the department’s retirement plan to a Tier 5.
“Getting to a Tier 5 means officers can retire from working at Bosque Farms, something they hadn’t been able to do,” Byrd said. “I think I’m proudest of the K-9 unit; I really do love (Dukan, the K-9). I might miss him more than the guys.”
The village’s police department serves not only Bosque Farms but it’s neighbor to the south, the town of Peralta. Byrd said the mayors of both municipalities, Wayne Ake of Bosque Farms and Bryan Olguin of Peralta, were very good to her and the department.
“I can’t thank Peralta enough for it’s help with the purchase of equipment,” the chief said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done without Peralta.”
Ake confirmed Byrd has resigned the position.
“She’s done a great job for the village and we wish her well,” Ake said.
Olguin said Byrd served the community of Peralta well, seeing no borders or boundaries.
“She was out on the streets, got to know people. She did a great job,” Olguin said. “She was engaged with the community and we are really, really sad to see her go. We wish her well in her future with APD and where ever else she goes. She is a well educated person and APD has a gem with her knowledge.”
As Byrd finishes out her last week with the department, she left the officers with some advice.
“I told the guys to remain vigilant and professional, to continue the higher standards and not accept mediocrity,” the chief said. “I told them, ‘Live your legacy.’”