Public Safety By The Numbers And Dollars Spent

The City of Albuquerque has a total general budget of $955.3 million dollars, of which $529.6 million is the general fund which goes to providing essential services.

The City of Albuquerque budget is a performance based budget where each department provides a listing of previous years accomplishments and formulate performance measures to justify their proposed and submitted budgets to the Mayor and then the Albuquerque City Council for approval.

“Public Safety” represents 29% of all general fund appropriations for the City of Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Annual budget is $171.8 million.

The Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) annual budget is $75.5 million.

APD employs 1,484 full time employees.

AFD employs 699 full time employees.

Following is a review of both the Albuquerque Police Department and Fire Department budgets with the information gleaned from the 2017-2018 proposed budget.

(Source: City of Albuquerque Proposed 2017-2018 Budget at http://documents.cabq.gov/budget/fy-18-proposed-budget.pdf)

THE ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT (APD)

The Albuquerque Police Department had a general fund budget of $171.8 million approved for the 2017-2018 fiscal year which includes an increase by $7 million or a 4.2% increase for the Department.

The adopted FY/18 General Fund budget for APD has funding for a total of 1,484 full-time positions which consists of funding for 484 civilian support staff and funding for 1,000 sworn police officers.

Although funded for 1,000 sworn officers, APD has 853 sworn police officers, and only 436 are assigned to field services, divided into three working shifts, less any of those on vacation, sick leave or in court.

Albuquerque has six (6) APD area commands.

At any given time, there are 124 sworn police officers assigned to field services, divided by three shifts, or 24 officers per field command shift.

In 2016, field service officers responded to 546,550 calls for service with a priority 1 response time of 11 minutes, 35 seconds which is approximately two minutes over the national standard.

In 2016, APD made 8,744 felony arrests, 19,857 misdemeanor arrests, 1,070 DWI arrests, and 2,462 domestic violence arrests.

The SWAT Unit was activated 44 times in 2016 and this is the unit that was the subject of the 2014 Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation report for excessive use of force and deadly force with the DOJ finding a “culture of aggression” within APD.

Priority 1 call are those calls that involve the immediate threat of great bodily injury or violent crimes and include but are not limited to murder, rape, assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery.

Personnel changes within the APD general fund budget that are noteworthy include the addition of 11 full-time civilian positions.

The positions include the following:

1. Three (3) crime scene specialist supervisors to replace the sergeants at the crime lab
2. Four (4) real-time crime center operators to assist with the increased call demands
3. Two (2) repeat offender analysts to help identify and track repeat offender court cases through the judicial system
4. One (1) crime stopper liaison to streamline the communication between multiple agencies, and
5. One (1) community policing council coordinator to provide assistance and resources to the community policing council.

Other noteworthy changes and increases in the APD Budget include the following:

An increase in risk assessments of $1.8 million, which is presumably to address civil lawsuit liabilities.

The FY/18 proposed budget contains $1.2 million designated for a “property crime reduction” program to fund seventeen (17) positions for $975 thousand together with operating cost of $224 thousand.

An additional one million dollars is designated to address the sexual assault kit backlog by funding two DNA forensic scientist positions at a cost of $192 thousand used in conjunction with $808 thousand in contractual services to outsource the service more cost effectively.

There are nine (9) major areas of funding contained in six (6) program strategies budgeted for APD.

The nine (9) areas of funding are as follows:

1. NEIGHBORHOOD POLICING: This is the largest of the program strategies supporting the six area commands, as well as open space, tactical support, the traffic section and the Police Academy.
2. INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES: This program consist of three specialized divisions: The special investigations division targets narcotics offenders and career criminals (gangs, vice, fugitives);
3. THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION: The Criminal Investigation Division investigates armed robberies, homicide, property crimes and juvenile crimes. This division also includes the mental health intervention team named the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) and the Family Advocacy Center which investigates domestic violence and sexual abuse and copartners with other social agencies in providing assistance to victims.
4. THE METROPOLITAN FORENSIC SCIENCE CENTER: The Metropolitan Forensic Science Center performs the department’s criminalistics, identification, and evidence functions.
5. THE REAL TIME CRIME CENTER: The Real Time Crime Center assists police officers in tracking and responding to crime in the city [as tracts the crime as it occurs to assist police].
6. THE PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRAM: The Professional Accountability Program strategy is comprised of chief’s administration, internal affairs, Department of Justice (DOJ) policy and training, communications, and behavioral sciences.
7. THE OFF-DUTY POLICE OVERTIME PROGRAM: The off-duty police overtime program provides a mechanism to allow businesses and other external entities to employ sworn officers during their off-duty hours.
8. THE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT PROGRAM: The administrative support program strategy provides long-range planning, problem solving, records management, human resources, and fiscal support.
9. THE PRISONER TRANSPORT PROGRAM: the prisoner transport program funds the transport of prisoners to the Metropolitan Detention Center

APD PERFORMANCE MEASURES REPORTED IN 2017-2018 GENERAL FUND BUDGET:

Number of sworn officers approved for 2017: 1,000, mid-year 2017 actual : 853
Number of cadet graduates approved for 2017: 71, mid-year 2017 actual: 34
Number of calls for service 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 546,550, 2017 mid-year actual: 285,278
Average response time for Priority 1 calls 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 11:35 minutes, midyear actual 12:17 minutes
Number of service calls that resulted in use of force 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: .03:100 ratio, 2017 mid -year ratio .05:100
Number of felony arrests 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 8,744, 2017 mid-year actual: 4,429 9,200
Number of misdemeanor arrests 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 19,857, 2017 mid-year actual 9,122
Number of DWI arrests 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 1,070, 2017 mid-year actual 775
Number of domestic violence arrests 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 2,462, 2017 mid-year actual 1,322
Percentage Homicide clearance rate 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 80%, 2017 mid-year actual: 63%
Number of alcohol involved accident investigations 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 623, 2017 mid-year actual 350
SWAT Activations 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 44, 2017 midyear actual: 17
Bomb Squad Activations 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 129, 2017 mid-year actual 79
K-9 Activations (Building and area searches) 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 819, 2017 mid-year actual 461

THE ALBUQUERQUE FIRE DEPARTMENT (AFD)

The 2017-2018 fiscal year general fund budget for the Fire department is $75.5 million.

The department’s 2017-2018 budget funds 699 full-time positions.

All Albuquerque Fire Department firefighters are not only firefighters but are also fully licensed emergency medical technicians or para medics.

AFD provides service to the community 24 hours a day.

Firefighters are assigned to 22 engine companies, 20 rescue companies, seven ladder companies, two heavy technical rescue (HTR), two hazardous materials response units, and when needed, four brush trucks used as wildland response units.

AFD facilities include Headquarters and Dispatch with fire stations located and scattered throughout the city,

The precise number of fire stations are not identified in the budget, but APD and AFD do have some shared facilities and substations and share the 911 emergency dispatch center and emergency operations center.

In 2016, the Albuquerque Fire Department responded to 144,726 calls for service, 8,365 emergency calls, were dispatched to 98,183 calls, responded to 59,950 medical first responder calls, and 34,257 advanced life support calls.

The Fire Department budget has a decrease of 1.6% or $1.2 million below the FY/17 original budget.

AFD PERFORMANCE MEASURES REPORTED IN 2016-2017 GENERAL FUND BUDGET:

Number of calls: 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 144,726, mid-year 2017 actual: 86,513
Number of hazardous materials condition: 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 1,270, mid-year 2017 actual: 739
Number false alarm calls 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 3,193, mid-year 2017 actual: 2,346
Number of other emergency calls 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 8,365, mid-year 2017 actual: 4,633
Number of other (non-emergency) calls 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 46,543, mid-year 2017 actual 30,597
Number of calls dispatched 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 98,183, mid-year 2017 actual: 55,556
Number residential fires 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 167 mid-year 2017 actual: 78
Number non-residential structural fires 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 46, mid-year 2017 actual: 17
Number hazardous materials incidents 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 646, mid-year 2017 actual: 310
Number wildland fires 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 21, mid-year 2017 actual: 24
Number medical first responder calls (Basic Life support) 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 59,950, mid-year 2017 actual: 29,728
Number Advanced Life Support Calls 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 34,257, mid-year 2017 actual: 16,545
Number of Firefighters trained in Wildland Task Force 135, mid-year 2017 actual: 180
Number of Firefighters Trained as Technical Rescue Technicians: 59, mid-year 2017 actual: 61
Number of Citizens Trained at Comm. Training Center 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 11,050, mid-year 2017 actual: 1,410
Number arson cases cleared 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 16, mid-year 2017 actual: 12
Number fire related injuries 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 12, mid-year 2017 actual: 6
Number citizens trained in prevention techniques 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 12,983, mid-year 2017 actual: 3,901
Number of children educated 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 16,097, mid-year 2017 actual: 13,130
Number of plans reviewed 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 3,500, mid-year 2017 actual: 1,717
Number of initial inspections 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 4,940, mid-year 2017 actual: 2,181
Number of Cadets Graduating from Academy 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 52, mid-year 2017 actual: 18
Number of Trained Paramedics 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 202, mid-year 2017 actual: 214
Number of Firefighters Trained in Professional Development Program 2016 Fiscal Year Actual: 98, mid-year 2017 actual: 88

CONCLUSION:

Both the Albuquerque Police Department and the Albuquerque Fire Department represent the communities first line of defense when it comes to public safety.

Given the sure volume of calls for service that both departments handle in any given years, 29% of all general fund appropriations is money well spent.

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About

Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.