I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.
It is alarming when neighborhoods start talking about hiring their own private security to patrol their neighborhoods because property crimes and violent crimes have gotten so out of control APD cannot respond fast enough.
Obviously, it is the more affluent parts of the city and neighborhood associations that are talking about hiring private security to patrol their neighborhoods.
The more cynical would argue that if the more affluent parts of our city go ahead and provide security for themselves, poorer areas of town will be able to get the police presence they need to bring down their crime rates.
Mayor Berry has even gotten on the “let’s privatize law enforcement” bandwagon with his suggestion to hire a private security company at the rate of $1.5 million a year to hire 25 retired cops to help with crime scene investigations and processing evidence.
Law enforcement is a very basic essential service that must be provided by a municipal government and the hiring of private security companies by neighborhoods should in no way be considered an acceptable alternative.
We must demand what we pay for as taxpayers when it comes to law enforcement.
All taxpayers in all parts of Albuquerque have the right to expect and demand equal law enforcement protection from their police department.
Albuquerque’s violent and property crime rates have hit a 10-year high. In 2015, there were 34,082 property crimes with a 15% increase.
Murders spiked in Albuquerque from 30 in 2014 to 46 in 2015.
In 2015, Albuquerque’s violent crime jumped by 9.6% and property crime increased by 11.7%.
Seven years ago APD had 1,100 sworn police officer and response times had been brought down below the national average. Albuquerque’s crime rates were at historical lows.
Today APD has 830 sworn police officers and only 430 patrolling our streets and response times at historical highs with calls to APD taking hours instead of minutes to respond, endangering public safety.
Mayor Berry spent $60,000 for a study to tell him why crime has spiked when the answer is that “community based policing” does not exist anymore in Albuquerque, he has a feckless chief of police and a mismanaged, out-of-control police department.
Albuquerque needs at least 1,200 full-time sworn police officers with 650 spread out over three shifts, patrolling our streets and neighborhoods to get the job done that will have an effect on violent and property crime rates.
In my November 21, 2016 blog article “It’s Time to Clean Out APD’s and City Hall’s Sewer Lines,” I proposed the creation of a civilian Police Commissioner and a Department of Public Safety, a complete replacement of the command staff, and civilian management of APD Internal Affairs.
Until aggressive action is taken with APD and its personnel shortage, APD will continue to spin out of control, violent crime will continue to rise and Albuquerque will continue to see dramatic spikes in crime.
Privatization of law enforcement is not the answer.