Editorial: Open Space Unit will have more impact patrolling ABQ streets - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: Open Space Unit will have more impact patrolling ABQ streets

Every little bit helps when it comes to crimefighting.

The Albuquerque Police Department’s decision to disband its Open Space Unit makes sense. Dissolving the five-person unit will mean four more trained officers and a sergeant out patrolling the streets.

The Open Space Unit has been responsible for patrolling river, mountain and mesa areas. But its utilization has become limited.

Rebecca Atkins, an APD spokeswoman, said that, this week, the four Open Space officers generated just 29 reports in the past 90 days, about seven per officer over a three-month period. By contrast, Atkins says APD field officers average 15 reports per day.

The plan is for police service aides, or PSAs, to take over the Open Space Unit’s duties in February. PSAs, who often are conscientious young men and women working their way up to becoming a sworn officer, are unarmed, and assist with traffic control, writing property crime reports and other non-sworn public service duties.

PSAs should be more than up to assuming the Open Space Unit’s responsibilities, which include opening and closing gates in open spaces. We don’t need certified officers doing that. We need them on the streets.

APD plans to assign open space collateral duties to a core group of 12 specially trained APD officers who can respond to search-and-rescue missions and river operations when needed. Moreover, State Police have primary responsibility on such calls.

With 860 sworn officers, down from 878 in April, APD remains short-staffed. The department is budgeted for at least 1,100 officers, but the city isn’t likely to meet that goal anytime soon. Reassigning the open space officers to patrolling streets is a stopgap measure, but a good one.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

Home » Opinion » Editorials » Editorial: Open Space Unit will have more impact patrolling ABQ streets

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




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

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Editorial: It’s early in the session, but inaction on ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: Lawmakers, so ... From the Editorial Board: Lawmakers, so far, have done little to nothing on attracting private-sector companies in pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and PPE; aerospace; microelectronics; ...
2
Editorial: Will free K-12 lunches just end up in ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: Free ... From the Editorial Board: Free lunches can help address child hunger and nutrition, if they don't end up in the waste bin.
3
Editorial: Professionals don’t drink on the job
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: If state ... From the Editorial Board: If state lawmakers want to be a professional Legislature, they can start by being sober on the job.
4
Editorial: Wait, did we just spend $3.8M on 'trash' ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: Taxpayers deserve ... From the Editorial Board: Taxpayers deserve to know when their elected officials spend millions of dollars on public safety, it delivers for our deputies ...
5
Editorial: Remember there are 2 sides to increases in ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: Lawmakers and ... From the Editorial Board: Lawmakers and the governor should seriously consider the impact of bills that would raise the minimum wage.
6
Editorial: NM can’t afford to go backward on government ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: The Inspection ... From the Editorial Board: The Inspection of Public Records Act has a presumption that citizens are entitled to the greatest possible amount of information ...
7
Editorial: NM lands need a state 'legacy fund,' true ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: A healthy ... From the Editorial Board: A healthy outdoors is a healthy part of New Mexico's fiscal landscape, so the chance to unlock federal matching funds ...
8
Editorial: Legislative package has sensible measures to address rampant ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: When you ... From the Editorial Board: When you get a Democratic governor, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the Albuquerque police chief, the district attorney and the attorney ...
9
Editorial: How useful is the Arnold tool?
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: New Mexicans ... From the Editorial Board: New Mexicans still waiting for fair and uniform pretrial release determination system.