EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed in these two articles are those of Dan Klein and do not necessarily reflect those of the political blog www.petedinelli.com blog. No compensation has been paid. Links to the original articles can be found at the end of the articles.
Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque Police Sergeant after 20 years of public service. He has been a small business owner in the private sector now for 16 years. Mr. Klein has been a reporter for both on line news outlets the ALB Free Press and ABQ Reports. On Tuesday, January 12, and Friday, January 14, the following articles written by Dan Klein and published on line news ABQ Reports:
ABQ REPORTS HEADLINE: Keller’s APD lies, unkept promises
“— Three years after Keller became mayor APD is still a mess. Albuquerque is still overrun with crime.
— It is clear from Keller’s 2020 speech that he would rather fudge facts and numbers to appease Albuquerque instead of taking ownership of this mess.
I have a calendar on my desk, like most of you have, where I make notes for future reference. One of those notes said, “Tim Keller State of the City speech January 11, 2020”. You can watch it here:
The reason I marked this date is because Keller made several announcements one year ago, that I wanted to fact check a year later. I do this because of past lies (false APD crime stats and Geier’s so-called retirement jumps to mind) whenever Keller and his management team at APD speak. Unlike most local media outlets, I refuse to simply regurgitate press releases and canned statements from politicians.
Readers deserve better reporting.
Tim Keller is all about visual charisma and charmingly good looks. Studies have shown that people support those they believe are handsome and good looking. Elections are not about policy, ideas and ability, they are a popularity contest like a high school prom and plain-looking candidates need not apply. Which is why I decided to listen and not watch Kellers’ state of the city speech. I recommend that you do the same.
At 51 minutes Keller talks about the Albuquerque Police Department and the Department of Justice monitoring. Keller stated:
“When it comes to APD we need to talk about the DOJ settlement. I will tell you there are 276 requirements that APD has to develop policies for, train officers on, implement and then show the monitor that he can trust us to do it on our own. Only after we do all of those 276 requirements will the DOJ actually end their oversight. We decided to make a compliance bureau to work with the DOJ instead of against them. Because of the hard work of that bureau and every single police officer at APD we are announcing that next month we are walking into court and asking to end the outside monitoring of nearly one-quarter of all those requirements”
Every person in the audience applauds enthusiastically, but did it happen? NO.
February 2020 came and went without the city asking the court to end the monitoring. In the summer of 2020, the city filed and then withdrew the request to end some of the monitoring. Why?
“The Albuquerque Police Department has failed miserably in its ability to police itself…. I would have to be candid with the court and say we’re in more trouble here right now today than I’ve ever seen.”
A link to a related blog article on the 12th Federal Monitor’s Report entitled “12th Federal Monitor’s Report: APD “On The Brink Of Catastrophic Failure”; “Failing Miserably To Police Itself”; Police Union Obstructs Reforms; COMMENTARY: Remove Sergeants And Lieutenants From Union; Abolish APD Internal Affairs” is here
If APD was failing so miserably why did Keller tell us differently? Why indeed.
Keller then makes the following statement about APD:
“We set an ambitious goal to hire 100 officers per year for the next four years and we got our first batch on the streets just a few months ago. I am so proud to announce the next 100 are on the way. They are in the academy right now and in 2020, for the first time in years, our department (APD) is going to be at 1,000 officers strong.”
Once again this is met with applause from the audience, but a year later does APD have 1,000 officers? NO.
At the same time Keller was giving his January 2020 State of the City speech, APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos reported to the ABQREPORT that APD had about 950 sworn officers. On January 3, 2021, the Albuquerque Journal reported that APD had 974 sworn officers (with another 55 cadets slated to graduate in March of 2021). Keller has hired more officers since he took over, but it seems that APD is now stuck, unable to stay above 1,000 officers (the number Keller promised). The reason APD is stagnant is because APD is losing veteran officers at a rate that does not allow it to grow.
I researched the entire police payroll for the first pay period in 2021. As of January 9, 2021, APD payroll shows that there are 953 sworn officers and now only 48 cadets in the academy. Why the discrepancy from January 3 to January 9?
I am sure APD and Keller knew that the end of the year brings a lot of retirements for APD. Why did Keller / APD give the Journal the end of 2020 numbers instead of the reality of the real 2021 numbers? Because 2020 would make Keller look better.
If APD payroll records are correct, and why wouldn’t they be, APD has only the slimmest chance of getting to Keller’s 1,000-officer goal in March 2021, a year later than he promised. Keller would have to pray that no cadets nor officers leave the department in the next three months. Based upon past performance that certainly does not seem likely. Knowing the number of officers that APD continues to lose on a yearly basis to retirements, terminations and resignations, my hunch is APD will still hover around 950 officers when January of 2022 comes around.
Mayor Keller promised us a year ago that his police department would attain 1,000 cops in 2020, it didn’t happen. Keller promised that APD was doing great with the DOJ consent decree when they weren’t. Keller clearly mislead the public in these two issues during his 2020 speech, it makes me wonder what else has he mislead us on?
Three years after Keller became mayor APD is still a mess. Albuquerque is still overrun with crime. It is clear from Keller’s 2020 speech that he would rather fudge facts and numbers to appease Albuquerque instead of taking ownership of this mess. 2021 is an election year, I hope Albuquerque is fed up with smiling untruths and elects a mayor who will fix this mess.”
The link to Abq Reports is here:
JANUARY 15, the following article also written by Dan Klein was published on ABQ Report
ABQ REPORTS HEADLINE: TIM KELLER’S VILE ATTEMPT TO DECEIVE US
What would you tell your kid if he came home from school with all Ds on his report card and when you questioned him about it, his response was, “You should be happy with me because my classmate, Jimmy, got all Fs.” Would you be happy? Well, you aren’t little Jimmy’s parent so you could care less about the grades Jimmy received and so you yell at your kid and tell him he needs to get his butt in gear, study and work harder and get better grades, or else.
That’s the way the real, normal and responsible world works. If you fail you acknowledge it and work harder to fix the problem and to get better. You don’t try to hide and explain away your miserable performance by saying someone is worse at it than you. Because saying that someone is worse than you at something is really low and sick, and it shows defeatism, a willingness to accept failure and a totally reprehensible attempt to deceive oneself and everyone else. In short, it’s ugly debasement.
Well, guess what, Albuquerque. Your mayor, Tim Keller, is that sick little kid who is getting Ds when it comes to fighting crime and who is trying to deceive you, his bosses, by saying that his failure is OK because other cities are doing worse than Albuquerque. Yes, welcome to the crime-fighting world of little Timmy Keller, who is failing miserably at his job. This is exactly what Failing Timmy did this week to cloak the fact that Albuquerque is just as crime-ridden under his leadership as it was under R.J. Berry.
Albuquerque has already had our fourth homicide since the start of 2021! At this rate we will eclipse the record high homicide rates of the last three years of Mayor Tim Keller’s administration.
So how does smiling Tim Keller respond to the tsunami that is the Albuquerque crime wave?
In 2019 Keller told Albuquerque residents that crime was going down, and he produced stats to support his statement. The crime stats were subsequently found to be a lie—fake, false and simply not true. Keller later apologized for the “mistake,” and soon enough real crime stats confirmed what everyone living in Albuquerque knew: crime here is really bad.
In 2020 Keller praised APD Chief Mike Geier for doing a great job (state of the city address) only to get rid of Geier months later. In what could only be described as cowardly behavior, Keller didn’t act like a strong mayor by calling Geier into his office and telling him he was done. Instead, Keller had Geier meet him, incognito, at a park on the Labor Day Holiday weekend. As Geier described it Keller was in disguise when he sat down with Geier on a park bench and asked him to resign. Weird. And cowardly.
How did this Forrest Gump, err Tim Keller park bench meeting turnout? Scandalous and embarrassing for all of Albuquerque. It’s worse than a soap opera, with Geier accusing Keller and Interim Chief Medina of plotting against him. In response Keller and Medina now say Geier was the worse chief ever (weird how Keller praised Geier just months earlier). While Keller was diverted into this stupid tit-for-tat with Geier, Albuquerque crime continued to grow unabated.
The year 2020 got worse for Keller and his police department as Attorney General Hector Balderas and State Auditor Brian Colón announced investigations and audits into APD overtime and spending. Balderas got involved when Colón requested that his office investigate potential criminal activity related to APD overtime. Once again, Albuquerque’s crime wave took a back seat to a profoundly serious issue within APD.
Again, I ask where was Tim Keller? APD overtime issues were well reported by ABQReport and other media outlets for years, so why didn’t Keller address them when the Albuquerque Police Oversight Board investigated and recommended termination for one of the officers involved? (A recommendation ignored by Keller and Geier.) Just where is Tim Keller when it comes to doing something about crime in our city?
As Albuquerque is reporting its fourth murder since the start of 2021, Keller and APD come to the citizens with one of the worse PR spins I have ever seen. Instead of focusing on Albuquerque and fixing our crime epidemic, Keller holds a press conference where he tells Albuquerque citizens that it’s worse in other cities. You heard me right. Keller is so lost when it comes to fighting crime in Albuquerque that he wants us to divert our attention to other crime-ridden cities.
Keller is telling us that the next time you get robbed at gunpoint, know that in Baltimore you could have gotten shot. Oh boy, that certainly will make everyone feel better. I can see it now, Keller and Medina will begin ordering APD officers to tell every crime victim that they should stop complaining because they could live in Detroit where crime is so much worse.
APD dispatcher: “911 what’s your emergency?”
Caller: “Help! I have been robbed!”
APD dispatcher: “Sir, do you know how lucky you are to live in Tim Keller’s Albuquerque? In Memphis you would probably have gotten shot. Thank God for Tim Keller.”
Caller: “You are right, it would be worse if I lived in Memphis. Thank God I live in Albuquerque where I am warmed and comforted by Tim Keller’s smile. I am sorry to take your time. Disregard”
Note to Mayor Keller: You are the mayor of Albuquerque and it’s pretty clear you have no idea what you are doing when it comes to stopping the crime crisis and managing APD. Stop feeding us citizens with PR bullcrap about how it’s worse in other places or that you have a 20th crime initiative that looks like the 1st failed crime initiative. Victims of crime in Albuquerque don’t care about other cities and their problems; we only care about Albuquerque. I wish Keller would care more about Albuquerque than he cares about re-election and his PR spin.
Tim Keller you need to know you are the mayor of Albuquerque, and citizens here don’t give two-shits about Baltimore or any other city. We care about the job you’re doing, and right now your failing. Timmy, you’re coming home with Fs on your report card. And when you try to explain away your failures by saying that other cities are more dangerous we see it for what it really is: a pathetic attempt to hide your incompetence and an attempt to debase this entire community.
So Timmy, stop the PR crap and just do your job of making us safe. If you can’t do this, then we’ll have to find a mayor who can do the job better than you.
And Timmy, stop your pathetic and sickening game of trying to hide your incompetence and to deceive us. It’s vile.
The link to the January 15 ABQ Report column is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Dan Klein in his second article states “In 2019 Keller told Albuquerque residents that crime was going down, and he produced stats to support his statement. The crime stats were subsequently found to be a lie—fake, false and simply not true”. With the one sentence, Klein glossed over just how bad Keller mislead the public.
KELLER’S FALSE CLAIMS OF REDUCING CRIME
When Keller took office on December 1, 2017, every quarter when APD released the city’s crime statistics, Mayor Keller would do a press conference to proclaim and to some extent take credit for crime going down in all categories. He did so on July 1, 2019. Mayor Keller reported that crime was down substantially, with double-digit drops, in nearly every category.
On Sunday, December 1, 2019 the Albuquerque Journal reported that all the crime rate reductions Keller reported in his July 1, 2019 press conference were in fact seriously flawed by big percentages. Both the 2019 mid-year statistics and the statistics released at the end of 2018 were revised dramatically to include hundreds, and in some cases thousands, more incidents than were initially reported. The final numbers for all of 2018 showed violent crime actually increased.
At an October meeting of the City Council, APD provided the revised statistics but failed to disclose to the council that the numbers had changed drastically. Mayor Keller also did not hold any kind of a press conference to correct nor announce the corrected statistics. The Keller Administration blamed the false numbers on antiquated software programs, but only after the Keller Administration had essentially been caught by the Albuquerque Journal. Mayor Keller for his part has never issued his own personal apology for misleading the public and trying to take credit for bringing down crime rates by using false statistics.
The corrected crime statistics from those announced by Keller are:
Auto burglaries decreased 16%, not 38% as previously announced by Keller
Auto theft decreased 22%, not 39% as Keller reported
Commercial burglary decreased 3%, not the 27% Keller reported
Residential burglary decreased 16%, not 39% as Keller reported
Homicide decreased 2.5%, not 18%, but homicides have since increased substantially and the city has tied the all-time record of 71.
Rape decreased 3%, not the 29% Keller reported
Robbery decreased 30%, not 47% reported by Keller
Aggravated assault decreased 7.5%, not 33% reported by Keller
The link to the full December 1, 2029 Journal article is here:
Given the references to the city’s crime rates in both Dan Klein’s articles, a review of crime statistics under Mayor Tim Keller is in order.
HOMICIDES SPIKE DURING THE LAST 3 YEARS
In 2018, during Mayor Tim 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 in 2017 when 72 homicides were reported in Mayor Berry’s last year in office. The previous high mark was in 1996, when the city had 70 homicides. The year 2020 ended with 76 homicides, the second-highest count since 1996. The decline dropped the homicide rate from 14.64 per 100,000 people in 2019 to about 13.5 in 2020.
HISTORICALLY LOW HOMICIDE CLEARANCE RATES
For the past three 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 2020 the clearance rate has dropped to 50%. Of the 75 homicides thus far in 2020, half remain unsolved. There are only a dozen homicide detectives each with caseloads high above the national average.
The number of arrests for the four years of 2016-2019 are as follows:
2016: 14,022 total arrests made
2017: 13,582 total arrests made
2018: 15,471 total arrests made
2019: 15,151 total arrests made
FOUR YEAR TOTAL OF ARREST MADE BY APD: 58,226
Editor’s Note: Statistics for 2020 unavailable
In 2018 during Mayor Keller’ first full year in office, there were 6,789 violent crimes, 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.
2020 VIOLENT CRIME STATS
On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) released statistics that revealed that overall crime in the city is down slightly across all categories in the first six months of 2020 as compared with the first six months of 2019. Crimes against persons are all violent crimes combined and include murder, deadly weapons assault and injury and rape. The decreases in “violent crime” from 2019 to 2020 was a decrease by only 21 crimes or a 0.28%. Over a two year, it decreased 4%. According to the FBI statistics released, there were 7,362 crimes against persons reported in the first six months of 2020 and there were 152 more in the second quarter than in the first.
Links to related Dinelli Blog articles are here: