The preliminary numbers are out regarding Albuquerque’s property crime rates and they show a decline in property crime.
It is a good sign that the city’s property crime rates are declining, but the violent crime and the murders are still a major problem and out of control.
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has responded to 8% fewer commercial burglaries and 55% fewer robberies this year.
According to APD, police officers are conducting more traffic stops and arresting more people with outstanding arrest warrants.
APD is also cooperating with other agencies to use arrest data to determine who are the most likely to re-offend and making them a priority.
On March 21, 2018, it was announced at a joint press conference the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police are joining forces to address the city’s and the county’s out of control auto theft rates.
The initiative is called the “Bernalillo County Auto Theft Suppression Effort” and at first glance, it appears to be working.
The auto theft suppression effort is combining tactical operations that combine technology, resources, manpower and intelligence from all three of the law enforcement agencies to arrest more suspects and recover more stolen vehicles.
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) for the past two months has been concentrating on auto theft sting operations.
APD’s first auto theft sting of the year resulted in 22 felony arrests and 23 recovered vehicles and in the first two months of the year the APD recovered a total of 843 vehicles and made 137 arrests.
APD is also using advertising billboards to publish the mugshots of wanted suspects.
APD’s Preliminary Crime Data comparing January to March 2018 vs January to March 2017 are as follows:
• 2017: 2,227
• 2018: 1,654
• Change: -26 percent
• 2017: 1,387
• 2018: 1,227
• Change: -12 percent
• 2017: 336
• 2018: 308
• Change: -8 percent
• 2017: 725
• 2018: 673
• Change: -7 percent
• 2017: 552
• 2018: 246
• Change: -55 percent
Although the above numbers are encouraging, they are only preliminary comparing the first three month periods in 20117 to 2018 and you can expect a spike once summer arrives.
This month, five homicides were reported in six days!
Albuquerque has had twenty (20) homicides reported in three months thus far and counting!
Albuquerque had 13 murders by this time last year.
In 2017, violent crime rose by 18% over the previous year.
Since 2012, violent crime has dramatically increased in Albuquerque by 77%.
The 77% increase in violent crime in 2017 was still significantly less than “nonfatal shootings” which increased by a whopping 148%.
According to APD statistics released for 2017, homicides increased by 23%, robberies increase by 43%, rapes increased by 21% and aggravated assaults increased 4.2%.
The dramatic increase in crime in 2017 followed a 15.5 percent increase in violent crime in 2016.
PREVIOUS YEARS FELONY VIOLENT CRIME STATISTICS
According to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) statistics, the total number of violent crimes in Albuquerque dipped two years and then steadily increased as from 2010 to 2015 as follows:
2010 – 4,291
2011 – 4,207
2012 – 4,151
2013 – 4,323
2014 – 4,934
2015 – 5,409
From 2009 to 2015, Albuquerque’s violent crime rate increased by 21.5% according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In 2015, murders spiked in Albuquerque by over 50% from 30 murders in 2014 to 46.
During the last eight (9) 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% according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics.
PREVIOUS FELONY PROPERTY CRIME STATISTICS
Two years ago, Albuquerque had become number one in the nation for auto thefts but the numbers have yet to be released that will determine if we have held onto the title.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hotspots report from two years ago showed Albuquerque and of Bernalillo County as the worst place in the nation when it comes to auto theft per capita.
In 2016 more than 10,000 vehicles were stolen in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County or more than 27 vehicles a day.
According to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) statistics, the total number of property crimes in Albuquerque steadily increased each year from 2010 to 2015 as follows:
2010 – 26,493
2011 – 28,109
2012 – 29,804
2013 – 30,614
2014 – 30,523
2015 – 34,082
APD STAFFING NUMBERS
In 2017, APD was funded for 1,000 sworn officers but has only 853 sworn police officers.
Funding for the unfilled positions went to pay for police overtime.
Last year, APD busted its overtime budget by $4 million dollars and it went from $9 million budgeted to $13 million spent in overtime.
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.
Of the 853 sworn police 436 are assigned to field services, resulting in 417 sworn police officers assigned to the various specialized felony units and command staff.
Given the volume of felony arrests and cases, APD is severely understaffed to complete felony investigations.
A December 11, 2015 Albuquerque Police Department Comprehensive Staffing Assessment and Resource Study concluded that APD needs at least 1,000 sworn officers.
The Keller Administration is proposing to spend $88 million dollars, over a four-year period, with 32 million dollars of recurring expenditures to expand and grow the ranks of APD.
The goal is to hire and expand APD from 850 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers by implementing a hiring and recruitment program that offer incentives, pay raises and bonuses to join or return to APD in order to return to community-based policing in the hopes of bringing down crime rates.
Although progress has been made with reductions in property crimes, until APD is fully staffed, Albuquerque should not expect dramatic declines in our crime rates anytime soon, especially the violent crimes.