APD: Overall crime is dropping - Albuquerque Journal

APD: Overall crime is dropping

Police Chief Michael Geier briefs the media on the year-end crime statistics during a press conference on Thursday at City Hall. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Police say Albuquerque had its first decrease in overall crime in eight years, but city officials acknowledge that crime in the city remains unacceptably high.

“This is the first time, at least, we’re going in the right direction,” Mayor Tim Keller said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. “It is with sober optimism that we share these statistics because we know that, overall, the rates are still too high.”

The statistics run through Dec. 21 and show the largest decreases in property crime across the board: auto burglary dropped 29 percent, auto theft dropped 31 percent, commercial burglary dropped 17 percent and residential burglary dropped 18 percent.

Aside from robbery, which fell 36 percent, violent crime didn’t fall so drastically: Homicide decreased 10 percent, rape dropped 3 percent, aggravated assault went down 8 percent.

Paul Guerin, director of UNM’s Center for Applied Research and Analysis, called the statistics “good and welcome news” but said they mirror a national trend.

“We need longer-term and more in-depth reviews of crime to understand crime in Albuquerque,” he said. “A focus on a one-year comparison is an initial broad look at crime – a lot more could be done.”

Even the picture painted by Albuquerque police is not all roses.

As Keller and APD’s top brass touted the effectiveness of traffic stops – which had a 31 percent increase – they also emphasized that more effort is needed to combat a troubling increase in gun violence.

A home that was the scene of a slaying in Northwest Albuquerque is pockmarked with bullet holes in July. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Nonfatal shootings, including ones this fall that left one teenager blind and another paralyzed, went up 4 percent this year, from 470 to 491.

There was also a flood of guns hitting the street as nearly 1,000 firearms were stolen from homes and vehicles from January to November.

Keller said the city and Police Department are working on a “comprehensive plan” to treat gun violence as a “public health crisis.”

“We have failed as a society, frankly, to do this in the first place,” he said. “It’s something that continues to plague us each and every day when we read the front page of the newspaper or watch our television set.”

Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier said the department plans to target gun violence by adding resources, investing in new technology and working with communities to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“We’re going to be relentless,” he said. “In general, I think I’ve seen less of a respect for human life – to shoot people indiscriminately, drive-bys where houses are hit with 15, 20 rounds shot at the house.”

Without going into more detail, Geier said the department will announce new initiatives to fight gun violence in the coming weeks and work with legislators and city councilors to make it a priority for Albuquerque.

Albuquerque police investigate a crash involving a stolen car at Jefferson and McLeod NE in September. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

With at least 2,000 guns stolen out of homes and vehicles since 2016, Geier said, public outreach also needs to be done so the public doesn’t leave guns where they can be stolen.

“Sometimes people are just careless; they’ll leave a loaded firearm in the car underneath the seat or in the glove box,” he said. “Trust me; they find it and then it gets in the wrong hands.”

Although the decrease in property crimes is significant for a city that has ranked worst in the nation for two years, Guerin said the numbers are not an indicator of public safety by themselves.

“Citizen satisfaction and police proactivity are also indicators,” he said. “While APD uses traffic stops as a measure of proactivity, and it is widely used, it is not that great of a measure.”

Guerin said place-based policing, targeting repeat offenders, tailoring actions and community input and support are important.

He said it would be helpful to know what APD and the city are doing to lower crime rates aside from recruiting more officers and conducting more traffic stops.

“There are similar-sized jurisdictions with fewer officers per population that have lower crime rates,” he said.

Guerin said that although hiring more officers can result in less crime, it typically has a limited impact.

“Proactive policing is central to crime reduction efforts, and not all efforts are equal,” he said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » APD: Overall crime is dropping


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
St. Pius X chooses new leader
ABQnews Seeker
Mike Deely says he's a 'lifer ... Mike Deely says he's a 'lifer in Catholic education.' 'I grew up in it,' said Deely, who has recently been selected as head of ...
2
Water authority approves rate hike, budget
ABQnews Seeker
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility ... The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority board unanimously approved a 5% rate hike Wednesday. Starting in August, typical residential customers will see an ...
3
Officials say woman set 12 fires in the bosque ...
ABQnews Seeker
Fire crews from several different agencies ... Fire crews from several different agencies jumped into action Wednesday morning after officials say a woman who appeared to be suffering from a mental ...
4
TOP OF MIND: Should Albuquerque Animal Welfare be authorized ...
ABQnews Seeker
Click here to tell us: ... Click here to tell us: Should Albuquerque Animal Welfare be authorized to charge a "surrender fee" of $20 to take in unwanted pets ...
5
Lawmaker accuses ABQ gas station of price gouging
ABQnews Seeker
Duke City residents have been feeling ... Duke City residents have been feeling the pain at the pump recently, but customers fueling up at one Albuquerque gas station are paying nearly ...
6
A third of US should be considering masks, officials ...
ABQnews Seeker
COVID-19 cases are increasing in the ... COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States -- and could get even worse over the coming months, federal health officials warned Wednesday in ...
7
Northern NM wildfire exceeds 300,000 acres
ABQnews Seeker
As national forests across northern New ... As national forests across northern New Mexico prepare to close to the public because of extreme fire danger, officials said Wednesday morning that the ...
8
Oil worker charged in killing of best friend
ABQnews Seeker
Man allegedly shot victim following a ... Man allegedly shot victim following a dispute over religion at a cookout
9
Brazos resident is charged in killing of neighbor
ABQnews Seeker
Suspect and victim have a history ... Suspect and victim have a history of prior dispute