ABQ crime remains on downward trend - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ crime remains on downward trend

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller speaks about decreasing crime during a news conference Monday. (Greg Sorber/Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Several categories of crime in Albuquerque have fallen by more than 30% since 2018, new data show, though Mayor Tim Keller and Police Department officials said they know the city still has a significant problem.

Numbers for the first half of 2019, released Monday, show year-to-year improvement in every category, including property and violent crimes.

But neither Keller nor Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier is claiming victory, with each stressing the need to keep getting better.

“Crime is still far too high, and the fight is nowhere near being over,” Keller told a news conference at APD’s Foothills substation. “This is something for us that is about a long-term, sustained effort that we have deep resolve around, and what we’re sharing today at least shows we believe these efforts are at least pushing us in the right direction.”

Geier called the numbers encouraging, but said many in the community have not personally felt the progress indicated in the bar charts presented at the news conference.

“We’re starting to see these results, but, again, we know that people are still being victimized every day,” he said.

A national leader in auto theft, the city reported 1,750 stolen vehicles during the first six months of 2019. But that is 39% lower than during the same period last year. Auto burglaries dropped almost as much.

Officials on Monday also heralded double-digit drops in certain violent offenses, including robberies (down 47%), aggravated assaults (down 33%) and rapes (down 29%).

Geier attributed much of the robbery decline to partnering with federal authorities. His department is working with the FBI to target repeat offenders, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed almost double the number of cases during the first half of 2019 than it did in the first half of 2018.

He said the partnership has helped get, and keep, serial robbers off the streets.

“Now we get them on federal charges (and) they’re sitting in federal prison,” he said. “We saw these (robbery) numbers just drop.”

The chief also noted APD’s increasing number of traffic stops.

Police conducted 25,284 such stops during the first half of the year – that’s 11% more than last year and 52% more than the same period in 2017.

Geier said his department should be doing even more.

“The data are showing that probably even with these great numbers, we’re not doing as many as we could,” he said. “Some of the national data show one out of three traffic stops will result in an arrest of somebody with a warrant or finding stuff in the car, so that’s our first emphasis.”

The city did not on Monday release figures for nonfatal shootings, a crime that its previous two data releases showed was rising even as all other categories of crime were falling.

Spokeswoman Alicia Manzano said in a written statement that “using the broad data of non-fatal shootings didn’t provide the necessary detail to tackle gun violence. Now we are able to drill down to get more meaningful information.”

The Journal did request all non-fatal shooting data for 2019, but the city did not provide it by deadline.

She said the city has replaced the broader “nonfatal shootings” category to “shootings with injury.” There were 94 such shootings in the first half of 2019, 8% fewer than in the same period last year.

Keller credited APD’s growing ranks for some of the city’s progress in reducing crime. The department hired 100 officers over the past year.

He also cited community policing initiatives, such as the “problem response teams” that put officers in routine contact with residents and businesses in certain parts of the city. APD has those teams in Downtown, on West Central and in the Nob Hill area, but Keller said resource constraints limit expansion.

“In the long term, we want them to basically be all over town,” the mayor said.


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

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Half of city voters favor Keller's job performance
2021 city election
60% approval rating a year ago ... 60% approval rating a year ago likely due to pandemic response
Book merchant Jim Hoffsis was a pillar of Old ...
ABQnews Seeker
Korean War veteran was an admirer ... Korean War veteran was an admirer of military, supporter of local authors
Gonzales' current job approval stands at 34%
2021 city election
Democratic sheriff has little support from ... Democratic sheriff has little support from members of own party
NM film and television community honors Halyna Hutchins
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's film and television community ... New Mexico's film and television community came together to remember cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at a candlelight vigil at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque on Saturday ...
Keller has large lead over mayoral opponents
2021 city election
Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may ... Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may not be needed
Hours before showtime, Las Cruces High's band truck is ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Las Cruces High School Showcase ... The Las Cruces High School Showcase band's trip to Albuquerque this weekend started on a sour note. Hours before the Zia Marching Band Fiesta ...
Don't forget: 10-digit phone dialing to be required in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Starting Sunday, phone users across New ... Starting Sunday, phone users across New Mexico must include area codes when dialing to make all calls, including local calls that previously only required ...
States mostly defer to union guidance for on-set gun ...
ABQnews Seeker
Safety standards developed by film studios ... Safety standards developed by film studios and labor unions are the primary protection for actors and film crews when a scene calls for using ...
Vigil to be held at Civic Plaza for cinematographer
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico community will come ... The New Mexico community will come together to remember filmmaker Halyna Hutchins. The 42-year-old director of photography was killed on the set of 'Rust' ...