Interim police chief appointed in Santa Fe

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe officials have turned to a veteran of the police department to instill new leadership. Raymond Rael worked 21 years as a Santa Fe police officer before retiring.

The 57-year-old Rael takes over as police chief after this week's sudden resignation of Aric Wheeler.

Rael faces record burglary numbers, mass retirements among command staff members, job restructuring and low morale among the rank-and-file officers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Wheeler will remain with the department as a captain. The 39-year-old Wheeler told the city manager Tuesday he was stepping down as chief to spend more time with his family.