The Albuquerque Innovation Team, or ABQ i-team, is a three year research project funded by Bloomberg philanthropies.
The ABQ i-team released a 145 page study of Albuquerque Police Department (APD) crime statistics to identify the five (5) most violent areas to live in Albuquerque.
(See August 11, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “The 5 most violent areas to live in Albuquerque”)
The report is very revealing and disturbing.
The research by ABQ i-team revealed that 10% of the city residents experience a disproportionate amount of crime.
The extent of crime along Central Avenue was identified in four of the five areas of the city.
Three (3) of the five (5) high crime areas are along the new ART bus route, which does not bode well for extensive ART bus usage.
According to the report, the five areas of the city with the most violent crime are as follows:
1. Southeast/Primary (includes central ART bus route): The area as roughly from Carlisle to Eubank and from Lomas to Gibson.
2. Downtown (includes central ART bus route): from Lomas as far south as Pacific and from Eighth Street to Broadway;
3. Far Southeast (includes Central but not ART bus route): from I-40 south to Horseshoe and from Juan Tabo to Tramway;
4. San Mateo: A triangular area bordered by San Mateo and I-25 and stretching south of Comanche, including the Alta Monte neighborhood;
5. Southwest (includes ART bus route) : The area which includes Avalon south to Bridge and Old Coors to new Coors.
It is not surprising that three (3) of the areas involve Central and are some of the poorest parts of down.
A fourth area is in the “mid heights” and a fifth area is the downtown area.
In the Downtown area, 75 percent of nonfatal shootings with injuries occurred on Central Avenue between First and Sixth streets.
The more affluent areas of the city, with the most gated communities in the far northeast heights, are not experiencing the same extent of the violent crime, but other city wide statistics do not reflect this fact.
From 2014 to 2016, 43.6 percent of murders, 36.2 percent of robberies of individuals and nearly half of all shootings with injuries occurred in the five areas identified in the study.
The five areas of the city have a population of about 57,000 people and cover a little more than nine square miles.
Albuquerque’s total population is about 560,000 and the city covers about 189 square miles.
According to the study, in the past three years, the biggest and most violent area of the city is the area roughly from Carlisle to Eubank and from Lomas to Gibson and that part of city accounted for 27 percent of the murders, 20 percent of carjackings and 37 percent of nonfatal shootings.
In the mid-heights area of the Alta Monte neighborhood between Comanche and Candelaria in Northeast, an average of one in 25 of that area’s residents was assaulted or robbed from 2014 through 2016.
OTHER SOBERING CRIME STATISTICS
The ABQ i-team report does not complete the equation and does not give a full picture of the violent crime wave engulfing Albuquerque.
According to the Bernalillo County District Attorneys Office, from 2009 to 2015, Albuquerque’s violent crime rate jumped 21.5% and the city is fifth-most violent city in the country on a per capita basis while the nation’s violent crime rated dropped by 13.7%. (See June 23, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, Justice council challenges DA’s criticism of court rules.)
Albuquerque has become number one in the nation for auto thefts per capita.
In 2016 more than 10,000 vehicles were stolen in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County or more than 27 vehicles a day.
In 2016, APD made 8,744 felony arrests, 19,857 misdemeanor arrests, 1,070 DWI arrests, and 2,462 domestic violence arrests.
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.
In 2016, field service officers responded to 546,550 priority one calls for service.
APD has a priority 1 response time of 11 minutes, 35 seconds which is approximately two minutes over the national standard.
The SWAT Unit was activated 44 times in 2016 to respond to violent crimes and priority 1 calls for service.
DEDICATED LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES
The research report does not report the law enforcement resources dedicated to the areas to combat the crime.
The Albuquerque Police Department has a general fund budget of $171.8 million.
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 but only 436 are assigned to field services taking calls for service.
The 436 assigned to the field are 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.
Repeatedly APD area command staffs report to Community Policing Council meetings that there are too short handed and many times entire area commands have less than 8 sworn officers patrolling the entire area commands.
Albuquerque’s severe rising crime rates have been in the making for a number of years.
Unless you have enough dedicated law enforcement resources, things will not be getting much better, especially when it comes to crime along Central.
We need solve the underlying causes of crime which is poverty, drug addiction, lack of education, mental health problems and failed social intervention.