Paul Feist was the lead crime scene investigator on the West Mesa case.
Police Chief Ray Schultz has tapped veteran crime scene investigator Paul Feist to lead his department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Feist was promoted Friday to Deputy Chief at a ceremony at the South Broadway Cultural Center. As deputy chief, Feist will oversee all of the city’s detectives. Schultz also promoted two lieutenants and four sergeants during Friday’s Ceremony.
“During the West Mesa investigation, Paul proved that he was a natural leader and cared deeply about the victims,” Chief Schultz said. “His leadership and his expertise will be of great value in the years to come.”
Feist replaced Deputy Chief Beth Paiz who was transferred to the Field Services Bureau after longtime Deputy Chief Michael Callaway retired earlier this month. Paiz now oversees all officers who take calls for service.
Feist began his career with the Albuquerque Police Department in March of 1988, and was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and Lieutenant in 2003. During his career he worked in all of the city’s area commands. When Feist was promoted to commander in 2007 he took over the city’s Crime Lab, where he was instrumental in starting a Citizens CSI Academy.
In 2009, Feist led hundreds of officers in processing one of the largest crime scenes in the nation’s history after a woman walking her dog found a human bone along 118th Street. Eventually Feist and his team excavated the remains of 11 women who had been killed and dumped in the Mesa. Last week, Feist’s work on the case was featured in a special edition of DATELINE.
A graduate of Highland High School, Feist received his bachelor’s degree in 1996 in Biological Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Today, along with his promotion, Feist will also receive his Master’s Degree in Business Public Administration. Prior to his law enforcement career, he served in the United States Marine Corps.
Married to Kristi, they are the proud parents of two dogs, Reagan & Lincoln. In his spare time, Paul enjoys playing golf, camping and working on his yard. Paul’s father “Cash” pinned his Deputy Chief Badge and his wife, Kristi, pinned on his stars at Friday’s ceremony.
Also promoted Friday:
Lt. Joe Christman moved to New Mexico from Chicago in the late 1970s. A graduate of Eldorado High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Education from Wayland Baptist University. Serving the department in various assignments, Joe was recently a member of the DEA Task Force. He has received numerous awards to include: Officer of the Month in May of 1998, the Department’s Life Saving Award in 2002, and he was a member of the Team of the Month in September of this year.
Lt. Anthony Montano is a Native New Mexican and a 1986 graduate of Valley High School. Montano attended both CNM and UNM. Upon graduation of the Police Academy, Montano served in the Field Services Bureau. He went on to become a member of APD’s Traffic Unit. Anthony was also assigned to the ROP Unit until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2004. Prior to his promotion, Anthony was assigned to the Tactical Section, in the K-9 Unit. A distinguished member of the department, Anthony has received the following awards: Detective of the Month for January of 2004, as well as Detective of the Year for 2004, and just recently the K-9 Unit received the Department’s Team of the Month Award.
Sgt. Michael Meisinger graduated from La Cueva High School in 1997 and received his Bachelor Degree from the University of Arizona in 2001. He joined the Albuquerque Police Department in August of 2003 and most recently served in the Southwest Area Command. Prior assignments have been in the Valley and Southeast Area Commands, where he has been a CIT and Field Training Officer. Michael also served on the Westside Burglary Task Force and with the Westside and Southwest Impact Teams. He is proud to have been a founding member of the Department’s Dive Team, as well as Search and Rescue Team. Michael’s commendations and awards include the Westside Officer of the Month and is a recipient of the Department’s Medal of Meritorious Service Award.
Sgt. Carlos Gallegos has served the Field Services Bureau in the Westside, Southeast and Valley Area Commands. Carlos served as a Field Training Officer and was a member of the Emergency Response and Crisis Intervention Teams. From January of 2004 to today, Carlos was assigned to the Special Investigations Division. Prior to his promotion today, he was assigned to the Gang Unit. In 2003, Carlos was awarded with the Department’s Prestigious Outstanding Service Medal for his response during a hostage rescue. A native of New Mexico, Carlos graduated from Manzano High School.
Sgt. Mark Velarde began his career with the Albuquerque Police Department on January 4, 1999. He served in the Valley and Northeast Area Commands prior to his assignment in the Traffic Section. Mark has utilized his training by becoming an advocate for Child Safety, a Motorcycle Instructor with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and has participated in many Police Motorcycle Skills Competitions.
Mark was born in Santa Fe, and is a 1992 Sandia High School Graduate. He went on to NMSU and UNM, where he obtained a bachelor degree in Accounting.
Sgt. Chris Mason began at APD’s Police Academy in November of 1995 and is currently assigned to the gang unit. Upon graduation of the academy, Chris was assigned to the Field Services Bureau, where he served in the Northeast, West Side and Valley Area Commands. He then went on to work in the Special Investigations Bureau, where he was assigned to both the Gang and Westside Narcotics Units. Chris is extremely proud of the training he assisted with while with the Gang Unit. Chris has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New York at Famingdale. Prior to his law enforcement career, Chris served with the United States Marine Corps from 1991 – 1995.