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BCSO wants new NE Heights substation

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office wants to expand its footprint in the Northeast Heights, and the county has made that plan one of its top priorities for the upcoming New Mexico legislative session.

The county has put three public safety projects atop its list of state infrastructure funding requests, including a new BCSO substation in the county’s northeast quadrant. The county is specifically seeking $350,000 to purchase land and design the facility.

Jayme Fuller, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman, said a new substation would improve response times to service areas along Paseo del Norte and Tramway as well as coverage in the Central/Tramway and Carnuel areas “especially when assisting East Mountain deputies and the City (of Albuquerque) patrol areas.”

Possible Heights locations include two sites along the Paseo del Norte corridor – one near the existing county fire station west of Tramway, and the other near the county’s emergency communication center at Eubank and Holly, said Clay Campbell, chief of staff in the county manager’s office.

BCSO currently has substations in Tijeras, Los Ranchos and the South Valley.

A northeast substation is “not a new concept,” Fuller said in a written response to Journal questions. She said the county once contemplated a substation as part of the emergency communication center and that BCSO’s traffic and DWI units had offices in that center for about 20 years.

A new substation would absorb some calls handled by the North Area Command Center in Los Ranchos, Fuller said.

The North Command had 26,597 calls for service in 2020, according to preliminary data provided by BCSO. That is far less than the South command, which had 48,633, but more than the East command, which had 17,889.

The numbers do not include calls to assist other agencies or calls that do not register with a specific area command.

“With a new substation and more deputies assigned to each area of command, the hope is that this will lower response time for calls countywide,” Fuller said.

The county has $39 million total in capital outlay requests, but has identified the substation as one of its top three priorities. The other two include $1.6 million for juvenile detention center improvements, and $3.3 million to upgrade Fire Station 36 near Edith and Osuna NW.

City of Albuquerque

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said this week that the city’s top legislative funding requests include $4.5 million for an expanded Real Time Crime Center at the Regional Transportation Management Center, $10 million to address homelessness through a shelter/service center model, and $500,000 to expand the Albuquerque Police Department’s use of gunshot detection technology.

But the city’s “legislative priorities handbook” also lists several other large requests under the title “Mayor Keller’s 2021 top quality of life legislative priorities.”

They include $40 million for a sports stadium – a project sought by the New Mexico United professional soccer team – plus another $10 million toward a planned West Side indoor sports facility, $10 million for the Rail Yards redevelopment and $8 million for nine splash pads/pools around the city.

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