The “Citizen Satisfaction Survey” is a research study commissioned by the City of Albuquerque to assess residents’ perceptions of the overall quality of life in Albuquerque, satisfaction with City services, and issues relating to crime, safety, and the economy. On January 21, the City of Albuquerque released the results of the 2019 study. The survey was of 607 adults living in Albuquerque and conducted November 8 to 24, 2019 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4% points. The poll was conducted by Research & Polling Inc. https://www.rpinc.com/
The survey questionnaire consisted of 48 questions. The final survey report is 105 pages long and contains multiple bars and graphs to illustrate the results. Research & Polling Inc. is New Mexico’s largest full-service market research and public opinion research company. Founded in 1986, the company today serves a wide variety of prominent national and New Mexico clients. The Albuquerque based polling firm is considered the very best polling service as to accuracy in Albuquerque. The company’s President is Brian Sanderoff, a frequent election coverage commentator for local TV stations.
You can review the entire survey at this link.
On August 5, 2020, the online news publication ABQ Reports published the following edited article written by its Editor Dennis Domrzalki and reporter Dan Klein regarding citizens concerns for crime:
HEADLINE: Poll: 67 percent of ABQ residents think crime is getting worse; 83 percent want more cops. Is Mayor Timmy listening?
August 5, 2020
By: Dennis Domrzalski and Dan Klein
– The survey shows that by huge margins ABQ residents think that crime is getting worse and that we need more cops—not fewer cops—to make the city safer.
– Of those surveyed, 67% think crime is getting worse in the city.
– The poll showed that 83% of residents believe the city must hire more cops in order to make the city safer.
[On August 4, ABQ Reports] … asked if anyone out there—the news media, the city council or … [Mayor Tim Keller] —would ask the 560,213 Albuquerqueans who aren’t serial protesters how they feel about all the rioting, crime, violence and craziness going on in our city right now.
[The link to the article is here:
Well, it turns out that there was a survey done and it isn’t good for…[Mayor Keller] and his leftist cronies at City Hall.
The survey was done in January by Research and Polling, Inc., and it shows that by huge margins ABQ residents think that crime is getting worse and that we need more cops—not fewer cops—to make the city safer.
Of those surveyed, 67% think crime is getting worse in the city. That’s 67% who think that crime is getting worse in the city! Mayor Timmy and city councilors, are you listening?
The survey, which was commissioned by the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, showed that 83% of residents believe that the city must hire more cops in order to make the city safer. Two thirds of those surveyed, 66% said that crime here has had a negative impact on their quality of life. And a whopping 73% said that crime has had a negative impact on businesses in the city.
And the causes of crime? Well, 40% say it’s fueled by drugs and drug abuse.
Only 28% of those surveyed said that cops need additional oversight, rules and reform.
Again, this survey was done in January before all the craziness started. We would guess that the public perception about crime has only gotten worse since the riots, destruction and serial protesters took to the streets.
These survey results are devastating for the defund the police crowd and those who constantly demonize the police. Here’s the survey’s two main messages: People think crime is increasing, and they want more cops, not fewer of them.
If … [Mayor Keller] continues to let 200 to 300 serial protesters—and not the 560,213 people who don’t protest—steer and control the city’s agenda, he and his leftist and progressive cronies will be toast in next year’s mayoral election.
Why is Albuquerque allowing the same 200 very far left people to drive our city policy? Albuquerque has 560,513 people and … [it is] … greatly doubted [by ABQ Reports] that the majority want the craziness that these 200 are spouting. The Albuquerque Journal or another news organization should do a poll and ask the citizens of Albuquerque if they:
1. Want to defund the police (which would make for a much smaller department)?
2. Want to disband the police department?
3. Don’t want to accept federal law enforcement help to arrest career criminals?
4. Feel safe in Albuquerque?
5. Think crime is under control?
6. Think violent crime is going down?
7. Think property crime is going down?
8. Agree with [Mayor] Tim Keller’s far left progressive agenda?
It’s time for the media to stop giving the same 200 people air time. Let’s hear from the other 560,213 citizens.
The link to the article with graphics is here
ABQ STATE OF POLICING 2020 ANNUAL SURVEY
The results of the Public Perception Survey conducted by Research and Polling released in January, 2020 are as follows:
83% of those surveyed said more police officers are needed to make the city safer.
73% of residents surveyed said they felt that crime has had “a negative or very negative impact” on business in Albuquerque.
67% of those surveyed believe that crime rates in Albuquerque are getting worse.
66%, or two thirds, of residents surveyed say crime has had a negative impact on their quality of life.
28% of those surveyed said police officers needed additional oversight, rules and reforms.
27% of those surveyed believe that crime rated in Albuquerque is about the same.
Those who were surveyed said the following factors are contributing to crime in the city:
40% illicit drugs and drug abuse
16% the homeless
13% the courts
11% felt not enough police officers
ABQ’S CRIME STATISTICS IN A NUTSHELL UNDER MAYOR KELLER
On Thursday, July 2, 2020 APD officials held a press conference to release the Albuquerque crime statistics for 2019. Given Mayor Keller’s words as to whose job it is to address crime, a synopsis of the statics during Mayor Tim Keller’s tenure is in order before the disclosure of the 2019 statistics by APD. The synopsis is required to focus on the statistics because statistics were falsely reported by the Keller administration for his first 18 months in office and the categories were then changed to comply with FBI crime reporting.
In 2018, during Mayor Keller’s first full year in office, there were 69 homicides.
In 2019, during Mayor Keller’s second full year in office, there were 82 homicides. Albuquerque had more homicides in 2019 than in any other year in the city’s history. The previous high was 72, in 2017 under Mayor RJ Berry. Another high mark was in 1996, when the city had 70 homicides.
As of August 7, there have been 41 homicides reported in Albuquerque for 2020.
HOMICIDE CLEARANCE RATES
For the past two years during Mayor Keller’s tenure, the homicide clearance percentage rate has been in the 50%-60% range. According to the proposed 2018-2019 APD City Budget, in 2016 the APD homicide clearance rate was 80%. In 2017, under Mayor Berry the clearance rate was 70%. In 2018, the first year of Keller’s term, the homicide clearance rate was 56%. In 2019, the second year of Keller’s term, the homicide clearance rate was 52.5%, the lowest clearance rate in the last decade.
In 2017, during Mayor RJ Berry’s last full year in office, there were 7,686 VIOLENT CRIMES. There were 4,213 Aggravated Assaults and 470 Non-Fatal Shootings:
In 2018 during Mayor Keller’ first full year in office, there were 6,789 violent crimes There were 3,885 Aggravated Assaults and 491 Non-Fatal Shootings.
In 2019, the category of “Violent Crimes” was replaced with the category of “Crimes Against Persons” and the category includes homicide, human trafficking, kidnapping and assault.
In 2019 during Keller’s second full year in office, Crimes Against Persons increased from 14,845 to 14,971, or a 1% increase. The Crimes Against Person category had the biggest rises in Aggravated Assaults increasing from 5,179 to 5,397.
“Crimes Against Society” include drug offenses, prostitution and animal cruelty.
In 2018 During Keller’s first full year in office, total Crimes Against Society were 3,365.
In 2019 during Keller’s second full year in office, total Crimes Against Society increased to 3,711 for a total increase of 346 more crimes or a 9% increase.
FROM #1 TO #2 IN AUTO THEFTS
On June 26, 2019 the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual list of cities with the most stolen vehicles reported. Despite a 28% reduction in auto thefts over a two-year period, Albuquerque ranked No. 1 in the nation for vehicle thefts per capita for the third year in a row.
On July 29, 2020 it was reported that Albuquerque ranks #2 in auto thefts by the National Insurance Crime Bureau which found that auto thefts in the four-county metro area are down in actual numbers and in the rate of thefts per 100,000 residents. According to the new NCIB report auto thefts in the metro area totaled 6,399 in 2019, a 10 percent drop from 2018, and a 36 percent decline from 2016 when auto thefts peaked at 10,001.
911 EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES
In 2009, under Mayor Martin Chavez, the average 911 emergency response time to calls, whether it was a life or death emergency or a minor traffic crash, was 8 minutes 50 seconds.
In 2011, under Mayor RJ Berry the average response times to 911 emergency calls was 25 minutes.
In 2018 and 2019, under Mayor Tim Keller, the average response times to 911 emergency calls spiked to 48 minutes.
RESPONSE TIMES OUT OF CONTROL
The time it takes for APD to respond to priority 1 calls has a major impact on increasing physical injury to victims or callers. On February 20th KOAT TV Target 7 reported on an investigation into the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD’s) response times. In 2011, the average response time to all calls, whether it was a life or death emergency or a minor traffic crash was 25 minutes. In 2019, that time period spiked to 48 minutes in the average response time. Since 2011, there has been a 93% increase in 911 response times with 48 minutes now being the average time of arrival.
APD PERSONNEL SHORTFALL
Tim Keller campaigned to be elected mayor on the platform of increasing the size of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), returning to community-based policing and promising to bring down skyrocketing crime rates. To that end, the Keller Administration began implementing an $88 million-dollar APD police expansion program increasing the number of sworn police officers from 898 positions filled to 1,200, or by 302 sworn police officers, over a four-year period. The massive investment was ordered by Mayor Tim Keller to full fill his 2017 campaign promise to increase the size of APD and return to community-based policing to reduce the city’s high crime rates.
POLICE SPENDING UNDER MAYOR TIM KELLER
The results of the city’s “State of Policing” 2020 annual survey confirms that resident opinions are indeed very accurate on many levels.
On December 1, 2017 Tim Keller was sworn into office and since taking office, APD has added 116 sworn police officers to the force. Keller is spending $88 million dollars over a four-year period, with $32 million dollars of recurring expenditures, to hire 322 sworn officers and expand APD from 878 sworn police officers to 1,200 officers. The massive investment is being done to full fill Mayor Keller’s 2017 campaign promise to increase the size of APD and return to community-based policing as a means to reduce the city’s high crime rates.
Last year’s 2018-2019 fiscal year budget provided for increasing APD funding from 1,000 sworn police to 1,040. This year’s 2019-2020 fiscal year budget has funding for 1,040 sworn police, a far cry from the 1,200 sworn officers Keller promised.
BREAKING A PROMISE NOT TO RAISE TAXES
In 2017 when running for Mayor, State Auditor Tim Keller promised he would never raise taxes unless there was a public vote even if it was for public safety. Candidate Keller said he would draw from various agencies, departments and programs where large, misappropriated budgets existed to deal with any city deficit. Within 4 months after assuming Office, Mayor Keller agreed to and signed a city council-initiated $55 million dollar a year tax increase without voter approval, thereby breaking his campaign promise not to raise gross receipts taxes without a public vote. 80% of the new tax revenues were supposedly dedicated to public safety, yet $40 million went towards a projected deficit that never fully materialized.
Candidate for Mayor Keller promised to increase the size of APD sworn police ranks to 1,200. As of July, APD has less than 1,000 sworn police and not the 1,200 promised, despite the $88 million dollar expansion plan. According to January pay stubs, APD has 950 sworn police and graduated another 50 cadets in mid-March. After adding the new graduating class, and subtracting retirements, APD will still short by at least 200 of what was promised by candidate Tim Keller. With anticipated retirements the total number of sworn officers will be less than 1,000 by January 1, 2021 in that the corona virus has resulted in the cancellation of the Spring APD cadet class.
SOARING HEIGHTS FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS
Ever since Mayor Tim Keller assumed office on December 1, 2017, he has taken political showmanship to all new levels. Keller is known for his photo ops and press conferences, attending protest rallies to speak at, attending marches, attending heavy metal concerts to introduce the band, running in track meets and participating in exhibition football games as the quarterback and enjoying reliving his high school glory days, and posting pictures, press conferences and videos on his FACEBOOK page.
Since being elected in November 2017, Mayor Tim Keller has implemented a public relations and marketing campaign to re brand the city image with his “One ABQ” slogan an using the slang nickname “BURQUE” for the city. Keller came up with a strained logo that rearranges the letters in the city’s name to reflect the slang name “BURQUE” in red letters with t-shirts and created a web page with slick videos promoting the city.
Since taking office, Keller has spent more than $312,000 dollars on his “One Albuquerque” positive image campaign and re branding the city as BURQUE. The City spent over $53,000 on the “One Albuquerque” letter sculpture that rearranges the letters in the city’s name to reflect the slang name “BURQUE”. $54,000 was spent on a “One Burque” sculpture.
With the corona virus pandemic taking a strangle hold on the city and state in February, Keller took instantly to conducting daily press briefings on the city’s efforts to deal with the corona virus and attempting to keep up with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s daily briefings on the state level. Keller even went so far as to get the city council to add emergency health provisions to an archaic city ordinance that dealt with riots in the 1970’s so he could issue his own public health emergency orders. The corona virus pandemic has allowed Mayor Keller to take his public relations efforts to even higher levels to deal with the pandemic and to announce city initiatives and inform the public and to conduct “virtual townhall conference call town hall meetings” with the use of the 311 citizens contact center to call upwards of 13,000 people at once to answer questions.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
In 2017, candidate for Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller campaigned to get elected Mayor on the platform of implementing the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms, increasing the size of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), returning to community-based policing and a promise to bring down skyrocketing crime rates.
In August, 2017 Tim Keller when running for Mayor, had this to say about the city’s high crime rates:
“It’s unfortunate, but crime is absolutely out of control. It’s the mayor’s job to actually address crime in Albuquerque, and that’s what I want to do as the next mayor.”
For the first 18 months of his term Mayor Tim Keller tried repeatedly to take credit for crime rates being on the decline in all categories other than violent crime offenses, but the statistics he released were seriously flawed and mislead the public. In 2019, in response to the continuing increase in violent crime rates, Mayor Keller scrambled to implement 4 major crime fighting programs to reduce violent crime: the Shield Unit, Declaring Violent Crime “Public Health” issue, the “Violence Intervention Plan” (VIP program) and the Metro 15 Operation program. Based upon the statistics released, the Keller programs have had very little effect on reducing violent crime.
Although progress has been made with implementation of the DOJ reforms, APD still falls short in completing the reforms within 4 years as agreed to and reforms are still being implemented after a full 6 years. Increasing and growing APD to 1,200 has been somewhat anemic, with the number of sworn police by the end of the year projected to be 1,000.
Mayor Tim Keller can take some limited comfort that the statistics show Crimes Against Property have dropped by a little more than 10%. Property crime may be down, but it is still higher than when Keller was sworn into office.
The far more serious Crimes Against Persons increased by 1% to 14,971, with both aggravated assault and statutory rape showing significant increases. There were 80 murders in the City last year which was the highest number of murders in the city’s history, up from 69 the year before. There were also 2,796 drug offenses and 709 weapons violations.
Tim Keller no doubt sincerely thought he could do a better job than his predecessor and he could make a difference. The truth is, he has not. Crime in the city has only become worse since Tim Keller has taken office, especially in terms of violent crime.
Voters are very fickle and unforgiving when politicians make promises they do not or cannot keep. When 73% of residents surveyed said they felt that crime has had “a negative or very negative impact” on business in Albuquerque, 67% of ABQ residents think crime is getting worse, 66%, or two thirds, of residents surveyed say crime has had a negative impact on their quality of life, it is an assured bet that no amount of data collection, public relations or nuance programs are going to turn public perception around any time soon.
As has been the case in the last 3 elections for Mayor, in 2021 crime rates will likely be the biggest determining issue in the race. Voters will no doubt decide if Mayor Tim Keller has in fact failed to deliver on his campaign promises to reduce high crime rates. Voters will be deciding if Keller deserves a passing grade for his failed efforts with Mayor Keller no doubt using the Covid 19 epidemic as an excuse for his need for another 4 years to finish what he started. “BURQUE, Please Give Me More Time To Make One Albuquerque Safe” is not much of a slogan.
Below are the total homicides, aggravated assault and violent crimes reported for the last 12 full years:
The number of HOMICIDES reported each year from 2008 to 2019 are:
2020: 42 as of August 3.
The number of AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS (assaults with deadly weapon) reported each year from 2008 to 2018 are:
In 2019, the category of “Violent Crimes” was replaced with the category of “Crimes Against Persons” and the category includes homicide, human trafficking, kidnapping and assault. In 2019 during Keller’s second full year in office, Crimes Against Persons increased from 14,845 to 14,971, or a 1% increase. The Crimes Against Person category had the biggest rises in Aggravated Assaults increasing from 5,179 to 5,397.
The total number of VIOLENT CRIMES (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined) reported each year from 2008 to 2018 are:
2017: 7,686 (Aggravated Assaults: 4,213, Non-Fatal Shootings: 470)
2018: 6,789 (Aggravated Assaults: 3,885, Non-Fatal Shootings: 491)
In 2019, the category of “Violent Crimes” was replaced with the category of “Crimes Against Persons” and the category includes homicide, human trafficking, kidnapping and assault. In 2019 during Keller’s second full year in office, Crimes Against Persons increased from 14,845 to 14,971, or a 1% increase.