$60,000 Crime Study Proves Nothing

I agree 100% with ACLU Director with APD Forward Peter Simonson when he says the Mayor’s $60,000 crime study to find out why Albuquerque has had such a dramatic increase in crime “proves absolutely nothing” and “The Mayor is using the [crime study] report to blame someone else for the fact that crime has risen in Albuquerque”. https://www.abqjournal.com/875928/filings-show-concerns-over-crime-study.html

Mayor Berry when his crime study first came out said “you have to put the bad guys behind bars” to get crime down. No Mayor, you have to have enough cops to investigate cases in order investigate the crimes to prosecute and get convictions. Mayor Berry and Chief Gordon Eden are so ignorant or incompetent that they do not understand police numbers and presence do make difference in bringing crime down to the point they had to spend $60,000 for a study instead of taking responsibility for what they have done to APD.

The District Attorney’s Office reports that in the last seven years, felony indictments have gone down from 5,000 a year to 2,000 a year. Also, traffic court arraignments on misdemeanor traffic cases have gone from 60,000 a year 7 years ago to 25,000 a year today. Seven years ago when Berry took office, APD had 1,100 sworn cops. Today it has 850 cops with only 420 patrolling the streets taking 69.000 priority one 911 calls. APD’s felony divisions, such as homicide, burglary and auto theft units, are so understaffed and over worked with case loads, they are having difficulty completing the investigations and getting the reports, witness statements and processed evidence over to the DA’s office for prosecution, hence the decline in cases being indicted, people being convicted and sentenced. A prime example is APD’s Auto Theft Unit has 4 detectives with each having 1, 000 open cases. APD has so few cops patrolling the streets taking other calls that traffic citations are a very low priority with drivers taking advantage by ignoring traffic laws.

Why I Support Hillary Clinton for President

After watching all three Presidential Debates, I feel compelled to say why I support Hillary Clinton for President. My reasons are straight forward. Clinton has the temperament and experience to be President, Trump does not.

Hillary Clinton is a Democrat. I am a Democrat. I believe in Democratic Party values. I support a woman’s right to choose, I oppose “right to work” laws, I believe in increasing the minimum wage and support mandatory sick leave for employees, I support comprehensive immigration reform. I support marriage equality, I support equal pay for woman, civil rights and equal rights for all, religious freedom and racial equality, and gun sale reform. These are all values Hillary Clinton shares with me and has taken positions on and that Trump opposes.

I support President Obama, and Obama Care, as does Hillary Clinton with Trump advocating repeal of Obama Care. I believe we need to make affordable college education available to all and hold Wall Street accountable, positions Bernie Sanders advocated and now fully embraced by Clinton. I believe that this country needs to help preserve and protect the middle class while improving the safety net for the poor.

Hillary Clinton has her faults, such as her past support of the Iraq war, and the email debacle, but on the whole she will make a far, far better President than Donald Trump. She will be able to get things done. She has the foreign policy experience that is so desperately needed in such troubling times. Trump will destroy the middle class and our country, pure plain and simple and he has no business being near the nuclear codes.

What I believe is true in politics is that there are never any real winners or losers, only survivors. It is the survivors in politics who are left to get the job done, find solutions and make things better. Hillary Clinton is a survivor and will make a fine president.

Re-Inventing the Wheel for Publicity

This is what you call trying to re-invent the wheel for publicity sake. http://krqe.com/2016/10/25/proposed-vacant-building-ordinance-getting-significant-changes/

In 2004 when I was a Deputy City Attorney and head of the Safe City Strike Force and when the City was taking aggressive enforcement actions against nuisance properties, both residential and commercial, the City enacted the Vacant Building Maintenance Act. It actually requires property owners to register their vacant buildings, repair them and keep them maintained. The Albuquerque Uniform Housing Code and the Albuquerque Commercial Building Codes also have numerous provisions allowing city enforcement actions against both residential and commercial properties that endanger the public health, safety, and welfare and that are blighted properties. Under existing ordinances, civil and criminal action can be taken against property owners and the properties that have become a nuisance and a danger to public safety. Under existing city ordinances, property owners can be cited for code violations in not maintaining their properties up to city codes. Additionally, Albuquerque has one of the strongest Nuisance Abatement Ordinances in the country that allowed the Safe City Strike Force to take aggressive code enforcement action against blighted properties, both residential and commercial, that had become nuisances and magnets of crime resulting in calls for service to APD and a drain on police resources.

Existing ordinances allowed the Safe City Strike Force to take enforcement actions against approximately 1,000 residential properties a year and over 50 motels along central, vacant strip malls, entire residential areas, hundreds of blighted commercial and residential properties and properties use to commit crimes such as meth labs, drug houses and violent criminal activity. The City also had available funds that were used to condemn and tear down structures that were beyond repair. Rather than trying to enact ordinances already on the books to garner publicity and favor, the City Council should provide sufficient funding to enforce existing ordinances that have proven effective in the past.

Paid Sick Leave Initiative Will Help Working Class

Here is an article appearing in the Albuquerque Journal Business Outlook reporting the paid sick leave campaign is gaining momentum nationally in many cities and states. https://www.abqjournal.com/…/paid-sick-leave-campaigns-expa… “ . In a very real sense this is an extension of increasing the minimum wage. The report notes Albuquerque will vote on such a proposal in next year’s municipal election. Albuquerque’s proposed ordinance is a voter petition initiative.

The ordinance if approved by voters will require businesses to pay one hour of mandatory paid sick leave earned after 30 hours of work and 7 days of sick leave a year after of working 40 hours a week for a full year. What the Albuquerque Journal did not report is that a coalition of some 30+ major business organizations including the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Forum, NAIOP, the New Mexico Business Coalition and the New Mexico Restaurant Association have already been formed to raise money to oppose the initiative, not only in Court but in next year’s municipal election. This promises to be a “hot button” issue in next year’s Mayor’s race and City Council races.

The voter petition initiative mandating “paid sick leave” will help the working class who have no rights, who are mostly “minimum wage” or low hourly wage workers and who are overwhelmingly “at will” employees in the private sector. “At will” employees can be terminated without any cause or notice by their employers, they have little or no employment rights, and no real vested rights in their jobs except those allowed by law such as required being paid the minimum wage and federal and state laws governing working conditions, sexual harassment and retaliation.

No Excuse Doing Nothing

Nightmare neighbor problem continues, community looks to sue

There really is absolutely no excuse for the City and the Safe City Strike Force to allow this to happen by doing nothing. The City of Albuquerque Nuisance Abatement Ordinance was adopted to address this very kind of problem property.

When I was Director of the Safe City Strike Force for 8 years, the Safe City Strike Force had upwards of 35 to 45 participants from APD, City Planning, the City Attorney’s Office, Family and Community Affairs and the District Attorney’s Office. The Strike force secured upwards of $500,000 from grants and the City Council just for tear downs of substandard buildings. The Strike Force would identify nuisance properties, both commercial and residential, and take civil enforcement action, especially against crack houses, meth labs and properties used to promote and facilitate crimes as well as slum properties. Our goal was always to work with the property owners as best we could to get the properties into code compliance and make neighborhoods safe.

Upwards of 1,000 properties a year were identified and civil action taken, which at times included getting consents to demolish buildings that could not be repaired and putting liens on the properties. Code Enforcement actions were taken against over 52 motels along central not to mention tear downs of 12 of those motels. We also went after graffiti vandals. The community was safer and cleaner as a result of what was done and calls for service went down as did crime. The program is nothing but a shell of what it use to be and I have heard it consists of only the Director and maybe two or three code inspectors in the Planning Department.

APD Pilot Project Union Busting and Privatization of Law Enforcement

This “pilot project” is tantamount to union busting and privatization of law enforcement, pure plain and simple. https://www.abqjournal.com/…/plan-uses-retired-police-to-fi… What was not mentioned in the Albuquerque Journal article is the original legislation identified a private security company that would have been paid the $1.3 million, with that company having ties to City Councilor Brad Winter.

For three years Mayor Berry and Chief of Police Gordon Eden have failed intheir attempts to get the New Mexico legislature to change the law to allow “double-dipping” where retired cops could return to work and get paid their salaries and be paid their retirement at the same time. This feckless pair just won’t take no for an answer and now they have come up with this scam to get their way to hire retired cops and are getting help from two equally feckless City Councilors to go along with it.

Paying $1.3 million dollars to a private security company for 25 retired police officers to help with law enforcement investigation tasks amounts to $52,000 per employee. Starting salaries for APD sworn is about the same! This is law enforcement work that should be done by less expensive means such as hiring more APD Public Safety aides trained by the academy to work the cases, but the Mayor has no intent on increasing the size of city personnel.

The pilot project is fraught with problems, including prosecutions being jeopardized when evidence is excluded for a broken “chain of custody” with evidence gathered and processed by non-certified law enforcement personnel.