Republican Albuquerque Councilor Dan Lewis who is running for Mayor has announced his crime plan.
Boldly and courageously claiming “war on crime” Dan Lewis says:
“We have to stop the insanity. War is being waged against us and we are not winning. We have to declare war on the danger and violence that is trying to take over our city. We will make Albuquerque the worst place to be a criminal.”
It should sound familiar because eight years ago, when he ran the first time, Mayor Berry said “we will make Albuquerque the worst place to be a criminal” and four years ago when he ran for reelection he falsely claimed our crime rates were declining.
“Dan the Man” Lewis crime plan highlights include:
1. Appointing a new Chief of Police after a national search
2. Increase the number of APD officers from the current 850 to 1,200
3. Recruit police officers from other cities
4. Reshuffle of the Albuquerque Police Department’s structure so that 60 percent of all officers will be taking calls for service.
5. Offer $15 million in raises for police officers
6. Beefing up APD’s detective units.
7. Combine the city’s APD and Fire emergency dispatch center with the Bernalillo County sheriff and fire departments.
8. Make APD quickly comply with the U.S. Department of Justice’s reforms
9. Hold judges accountable for letting criminals back onto the streets
What is so damn laughable and absurd is that Dan Lewis has been on the Albuquerque City Council for the last eight (8) years and has done nothing but watch the deterioration of one of the finest police departments in the country to one of the worst in the country that is now under a Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree.
For the last eight (8) years, Lewis has sat idly by as a city councilor while our violent crime rates and property crime rates have sky rocketed, now he wants to save us all.
APD BEFORE AND AFTER DAN LEWIS
Eight (8) years ago when Dan Lewis took office, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) was the best trained, best equipped, best funded department in its history and it was fully staffed with 1,100 sworn police officers.
In 2009, soon after being sworn in as an Albuquerque City Councilor, Dan Lewis voted to confirm Darren White as Chief Public Safety Officer.
White wound up resigning under pressure after 16 months in office when he showed up to a traffic accident investigation involving his wife and was accused of interfering with the investigation and City Councilor Lewis remained silent during the controversy.
The Lewis Crime Plan proposal of consolidation of city and county law enforcement is taken out of the political playbook of former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White who proposed it as a way to take over APD by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2009 when Dan Lewis took office as a City Counselor, APD response times had been brought down below the national average and violent and property crime rates in Albuquerque were hitting historical lows.
Today in 2017, response times are at historical highs with calls to APD taking hours instead of minutes to respond threatening public safety.
In eight (8) years under the watchful eye of the Albuquerque City Council and City Councilor Dan Lewis, APD went from 1,100 sworn police to 853 sworn police officers.
From 2010 to 2014, City councilor Dan Lewis voted to fully fund 1,100 sworn police positions despite the mass exodus of sworn police and the APD Police Academy’s failure to recruit and keep up with retirements.
Three years ago, the City Councilor Dan Lewis voted to reduce funding from 1,100 sworn officers to 1,000 sworn officers because of the Berry Administration’s failure to recruit and keep up with retirements.
CRIME RATES UNDER DAN LEWIS
Albuquerque Police Department (APD) statistics reveal the total number of violent crimes in Albuquerque increased steadily and went from 4,291 in 2010 to 5,409 in 2015.
According to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, from 2009 to 2015, Albuquerque’s violent crime rates increased by 21.5%.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that in the last eight (8) years, Albuquerque has become the is fifth-most violent city in the country on a per capita basis while the nation’s violent crime rate dropped by 13.7%.
During the last eight (8) years, Albuquerque has become number one in the nation for auto thefts.
In 2016 more than 10,000 vehicles were stolen in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County or more than 27 vehicles a day.
According APD statistics, the total number of property crimes in Albuquerque has steadily increased each year during the last six (6) years going from 26,493 crimes in 2010 to 34,082 in 2015.
During the last eight (8) years Dan Lewis never declared “war on crime” as a City Councilor nor as President of the City Council even when violent and property crime rates in Albuquerque were soaring to historical highs and went along the ride with Mayor Berry.
DAN LEWIS RECORD OF FAILURE OF APD OVERSIGHT
The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget.
Dan Lewis has served eight (8) years as an Albuquerque City Counselor including being President of the City Council.
During his eight (8) years as a City Councilor, Dan Lewis has done next to nothing when it comes to APD, its staffing and the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms.
Lewis proclaims in a FACEBOOK video when it comes to APD and the consent decree mandated reforms:
“We are going to lead the reform effort with APD from the front with a new Chief and new police leadership and not being dragged along by the courts and the DOJ”.
Dan Lewis has not attend any of the federal court hearings on the consent decree but he wants to lead the reform effort.
Dan Lewis likes to point out with pride he voted to have the Department of Justice (DOJ) come in to investigate APD.
Lewis believes somehow one vote absolves him from being held responsible for failed city council oversight of APD and for what has happened to APD during the last seven years. It does not.
During one briefing by Federal Monitor James Ginger, Lewis asked the Federal Monitor who is ultimately responsible for APD and when the Monitor said the City Council, the City Council Committee Lewis was chairing all had a good “uncomfortable” laugh and Lewis rephrased his question apparently not liking the truth he got from Dr. Ginger.
Three years ago, Chief Gordon Eden and his Assistant Chief took over APD at the time the DOJ consent decree was negotiated.
Eden’s Assistant Chief was the SWAT commander during the time period the DOJ found a pattern of excessive use of force and deadly force by SWAT and found a “culture of aggression” and once again Lewis did not say anything and did not object.
During the last three years, Dan Lewis has voiced no substantive complaints about Chief Eden not even when Chief Eden proclaimed the killing of homeless camper James Boyd by APD was “justified” and he has never called for his removal until now that he is running for Mayor.
Each time Federal Monitor James Ginger has issued a scathing report of the lack of progress by APD, Dan Lewis has said nothing, has done nothing and has not demanded the removal of the APD command staff.
The Lewis solution of replacing the APD command staff and having 1,200 police officers is being done now only because he is running for Mayor.
LEWIS PROMOTES IGNORANCE OF OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Dan Lewis talks and acts like he is running for District Attorney and not Mayor of Albuquerque.
Going after and complaining about elected judges for their rulings is a red flag of ignorance of our criminal justice system.
The most disturbing part of the Lewis Crime Plan is his apparent ignorance of our criminal justice system, our constitutional rights of due process of law and the presumption of innocence.
In his crime plan, Lewis says he will hold judges accountable for letting criminals back onto the streets.
A Lewis for Mayor FACEBOOK campaign video shows contempt for judges when he says:
“We’re gonna hold judges in this city accountable. Judges that misinterpret our laws and they put repeat offenders and habitual offenders back on the street often times before the officer that arrested them is off their shift”.
“We will hold judges accountable in this city, put their faces on billboards and their names and faces on a website that will reveal and show the records they have.”
“We will fill up that MDC, that Metro detention center. Right now, there is 800 empty beds at that detention center and there is people that should be in that detention center that are out in our streets … we are going to keep them in jail … We will make Albuquerque number one for the worst place to be a criminal in this country.”
A Mayor has no control over any part of our judicial system, including the Metro court, and the courts are a state function.
Attacking our Judicial system and judge’s rulings is a familiar tactic of President Donald Trump and is a lesson learned by Dan Lewis to “gin up” his conservative base in Albuquerque.
All judge’s take an oath of office to preserve, defend and protect our constitution.
Judges are strictly prohibited by the Supreme Court Rules and the Code of Judicial Conduct from commenting on pending cases and voicing opinions that call into question their fairness and impartiality, especially in criminal cases.
Judges are prohibited from defending their decisions and sentencing in a public forum outside of their courtroom so criticizing judges is like “shooting fish” in a barrel.
What Lewis is saying with his crime plan is we need to keep people in jail and forget and ignore our constitutional rights of presumption of innocence and due process of law.
It is so easy to ignore our U. S. Constitution when you are pandering and running for Mayor and essentially say “catch them and lock them up and throw away the key”.
All Lewis is saying in his crime plan is to replace the command staff, hire more cops and that somehow is going to solve the “culture of aggression” found by the DOJ and reduce crime rates.
Lewis crime plan proposes no solutions to the root causes of crime among them being poverty, our poor educational system, drug abuse and addiction, high unemployment rates and a failing economy.
Republican Dan Lewis has been nothing more than a clone of Mayor Berry and a cheerleader for his policies on the City Council especially when it comes to the Albuquerque Police Department.
Dan Lewis has been part of the problem of failed leadership on the City Council when it comes to APD oversight and giving Berry a pass for eight years.
If you want more of the same for Albuquerque, vote for Dan Lewis for Mayor.