- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Veteran federal prosecutor Greg Fouratt was named Wednesday by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to run the Department of Public Safety.

Introducing Fouratt to reporters at a New Mexico State Police outpost in Albuquerque, Martinez said he was “an effective leader with tremendous legal, law enforcement and military experience.”

That was the type of leadership the governor said she was seeking for the department. “His talents and skills will serve New Mexico well in our continuing efforts to keep our families and communities safe. I am extremely proud to have Greg continue his service to New Mexicans, this time as a member of my state cabinet,” Martinez said.

The cabinet secretary for the department oversees the State Police, Motor Transportation Police and the Law Enforcement Academy.

Fouratt, 48, said he was “honored and humbled” to be chosen and vowed to meet with the heads of every department soon. “I am looking forward to working with the governor and our state’s dedicated public safety employees,” he said.

Fouratt has worked as a federal prosecutor in New Mexico for 17 years and served as U.S. attorney from January 2008 to May 2010.

Born in Santa Fe, Fouratt grew up in Roswell, earned a bachelor’s degree in government from New Mexico State University and received his law degree in 1995 from Texas Tech University.

Fouratt succeeds Gorden Eden, who is stepping down to become Albuquerque’s police chief.

His appointment comes as New Mexico State Police are under scrutiny for recent shootings, including one by an officer who fired at a van full of children after a chaotic traffic stop near Taos.

Jack Jones, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, has come under criticism over his curriculum, which includes giving officers more leeway to use deadly force.

Asked about the shootings and criticism over the curriculum, Fouratt said “any and all” department policies will be under review.

“The use of lethal force is something that certainly demands the attention of all in law enforcement,” Fouratt said.

Fouratt said he had the humility, discipline and “vertebrae” to make needed changes.


Follow Russell Contreras at https://twitter.com/russcontreras.

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