It is something that happens all the time. People do not disclose facts or information to others because it may cause trouble or be embarrassing to them. They usually do not believe that failing to disclose is lying. When it comes to the law, either criminal or civil law, the failure to disclose material facts, ones that are necessary to make an informed decision, is fraud.
So it goes with the 2022 proposed city budget submitted by Mayor Tim Keller’s administration by failing to disclose critical statistical performance measures of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). On April 1, 2021, the Keller administration released the 2021-2022 Proposed Operating Budget for the fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2021 and end June 31, 2022. As required by state law, the budget is a balance budget.
The link to the budget is here:
EDITOR’S NOTE: The postscript to this bog article provides a summary of APD’s budget highlights.
PERFORMANCE BASED BUDGET STATISTICS ABSENT FROM APD BUDGET
The entire City of Albuquerque budget is what is referred to as a performance-based budget. The City’s budget is formulated in two parts: 1. A financial plan and 2. Performance plan.
The Financial Plan is organized by department budgets and funds, and program strategy. Funds are groupings of related accounts that are used to maintain control over resources that have been segregated for specific activities.
The Performance Plan is organized by goals, desired community conditions, and program strategy. A goal is a long-term result that is further defined by desired community conditions that would exist if the goal were achieved.
When it comes to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), statistics are compiled in areas that reflect performance and outcomes aimed at influencing the larger outcomes and goals that APD is striving to achieve. The performance measures capture APD’s ability to perform the services at the highest level achieved from the previous year and the “target” level for the new fiscal year. Target levels and percentages are merely goals that may or may not be achieved.
The performance measures are absolutely critical in order for the City Council to understand fully the shortcomings and strengths of APD and make critical budget decisions. Without such statics, budget review and decisions are done in the dark and in a real sense become useless, become an exercise in futility and the city council is relegated to rubber stamping whatever budget is presented to them.
For purposes of the proposed 2021-2022 budget, the Keller Administration made the decision to
“reimagine how the City looks at performance and progress measures for services to the Albuquerque community. To kick off this work, APD is one of six departments piloting this new approach. As such, the performance measures section will look different from the rest of the departments in this document.”
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 149, INNOVATION introduction)
The result of the “reimagining” is a total absence of many statics from the previous fiscal years of 2019, 2020 and 2021. .Because of the so called “reimagining”, actual performance statistics from previous years are deleted in the proposed budget and only “targeted statistics” for the 2022 fiscal year are provided. “Targeted” statistics or goals are provided but may never materialize.
Tim Keller has been Mayor for the full fiscal years of 2018, 2019, and 2020 and APD has been under the management of his appointed Chief’s as well as the Department of Justice consent decree.
SIX CORE SERVICES
APD provides six core services: Patrol, Community Policing, Special Operations, Dispatch, Investigations and Support Services. The performance measures in all 6 core service categories in the 2021-2022 proposed budget are summarized as follows:
Under the core service of Patrol there are 11 performance measures listed. There are no statistics provided in 7 of the 11 measures for the fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021. There are no statistics for response times for priority 1 calls answered within 10 minutes, and no response times for priority 2 and 3 calls.
No statistics are provided for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 as to the percentage of use of force incidents that met policy standards. No statistics are provided for2019, 2020 and 2021 Traffic Enforcement DWI checkpoints
The statics are “redacted” with a gray box area.
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 150)
Under the core service of Community Policing, there are only 2 performance measures and the are: 1. Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Projects and 2. Community Engagement Activities Officers Participated. There are absolutely no statistics provided for fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021.
There are 25 Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Projects that are targeted for 2022 and 950 Community Engagement Activities by Officers targeted for 2022.
Virtually all of APD’s Community Policing Measures in the 2 measures listed are “redacted” with a gray box area.
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 150)
EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2017 when Tim Keller was running for Mayor, he promised to return Community Based policing.
Under the core service of Special Operations, there are only 2 performance measures of “Tier Level (1-4): FEMA and National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) certification” and “# monthly hours of tactical training per Special Operations officer”, with absolutely no statistics provided for fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The performance measures listed are “redacted” with a gray box area.
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 151)
Under the core service of Dispatch, there are 4 performance measures and with no statistics provided on calls answered within 15 seconds with the national standard being 90% and calls answered within 20 seconds with the national standard of 95%.
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 151)
The total number of 911 calls are listed as follows:
Number of 911 calls answered in 2018 were 338,765.
Number of 911 calls answered in 2019 were 345,729.
Number of 911 calls answered mid-year 2021 were 177,465
Under the core service of Investigations, there are 7 performance measures in the general category of “Solving Crime”, with no clearance rates provided for crimes against persons (e.g., murder, rape assault), no clearance rates provided for crimes against property (e.g., robbery, bribery, burglary) and no clearance rates provided for crimes against society (e.g., gambling, prostitution and drug violations) for the fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The performance measures listed are “redacted” with a grey box.
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 151)
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Wednesday, February 24, 2021 APD Police Chief Harold Median released the city’s 2020 crime statistics as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It was the third year in a row that the APD has compiled crime statistics using the National Incident-Based Reporting System and the 3 crime categories of crimes against persons, crimes against property and crimes against society.
What are listed are the “Proposed” statistics for Investigations, for Fiscal Year 2022 that will be APD’s goals for the new fiscal year. The proposed clearance rate for crimes against persons (e.g., murder, rape assault) is 54%, the proposed clearance rate for crimes against property (e.g., robbery, bribery, burglary) is 20%, and the proposed clearance rate for crimes against society (e.g., gambling, prostitution and drug violations) is 80%.
Under the core service of Investigations, homicide clearance rates are provided. In 2019, APD had a homicide clearance rate of 57%, in 2020 the homicide clearance rate was 53%, and in mid-year 2021, the homicide clearance rate was a very disappointing 37%.
Under the core service of Investigations, the following arrest statistics are provided:
NUMBER OF FELONY ARRESTS:
NUMBER OF MISDEMEANOR ARRESTS
NUMBER OF DWI ARRESTS
(2022 Proposed APD Budget, page 151)
EDITOR’S NOTE: the 2021-2022 proposed budget “performance measures” for APD are down by the thousands as to Felony Arrests and Misdemeanor Arrests for the years 2019 and 2020, yet the city’s crime rates are continuing to be out of control. Further note that the number of DWI arrests are also down dramatically by hundreds. APD’s homicide clearance rate continues to decline dramatically and thus far is at 37%.
Under the core service of Support Services, there are 9 performance measures, with the most serious being the 4 crisis intervention measurements.
No home visits by the Crisis Intervention Unit are provided for the years 2019, 2020 nor mid-year 2021. The performance measures listed are “redacted” with a grey box.
No Crisis Interventions for individuals assisted through the Crisis Intervention Unit are listed for the years 2019, 2020 nor mid-year 2021. The performance measures listed are “redacted” with a grey box.
The number of individuals assisted through COAST for 2019 are 1,405 and for 2020 are 2,037 and none for mid-year 2021.
Under Tactical Support, no statistics as to the number of tactical operations supported by the Real Time Crime Center. However, the number of calls in which the Real Time Crime Center responded to are listed as 33,066 for 2019, 28,910 for 2020, approved for 2021 were 30,000 and mid-year 2021 as 16,211.
2020 FBI CRIME STATISTICS RELEASED BY APD
Notwithstanding the failure to provide critical statistics in the proposed 2021-2022 proposed budget, relevant statistics reflecting APD performance have been gleaned from other sources, including statistics APD has reported to the FBI and news sources.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021 APD Police Chief Harold Median released the city’s 2020 crime statistics as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It was the third year in a row that the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has compiled crime statistics using the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Each offense collected in NIBRS belongs to 1 of 3 categories:
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS include murder, rape, and assault, and are those in which the victims are always individuals.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY include robbery, bribery, and burglary, or to obtain money, property, or some other benefit.
CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY include gambling, prostitution, and drug violations, and represent society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity and are typically victimless crimes.
The statistics released on February 24 by APD reveal that during the last 3 years, Crimes Against Property have decreased by a mere 7%, but violent Crimes Against a Person and Crimes Against Society have continued to rise. Following are the raw numbers in each of the 3 categories of Albuquerque’s crime statistics:
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY (Includes robbery, bribery, and burglary)
Crimes Against Property declined by a mere 7% from 2018 to 2020.
CRIMES AGAINST A PERSON (Include murder, rape, and assault)
Crimes Against Persons increased by 4%. The 4% increase was the same as in 2019 with assaults having a 4% rise. In 2019, violent crime increased 1%. This coincides with the city having reach 80 homicides breaking another record. Bernalillo County recorded 241 shootings. With a 2% increase in violent crime, 2020 fell short of the homicide count but had the second-highest number of homicides with 76 and with Bernalillo County reporting 292 shootings. According to the statistics released, the use of firearms as the percentage of homicides committed with a gun jumped from 69% in 2019 to 78% in 2020.
CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY (Include gambling, prostitution, and drug violations)
Crimes Against Society had 61% increase weapons law violations in 2020. In 2019, weapons law violations, which include the illegal use, possession and sale of firearms, recorded a 19% increase and an 11% rise in drug offenses.
OTHER DUBIOUS CRIME STATISTICS
In 2020, FBI statistics reveal that Albuquerque has the dubious distinction of having a crime rate about 194% higher than the national average. Because of how misleading APD’s performance measures are in the 2022 proposed budget, the city’s crime statistics during Mayor Keller’s full 3 years in office are in order.
There is a tremendous discrepancy of thousands below the actual numbers reported to the FBI as to the number of felony arrests provided in the 2022 proposed budget. The number of arrests reported in the 2022 proposed budget are:
The number of arrests reported to the FBI by APD 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 (NOTE: this is 4,206 more than reported in the proposed 2022 budget. With more arrests, crime should go down.)
FOUR YEAR TOTAL OF ARREST MADE BY APD: 58,226
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.
In 2020, there were 76 homicides in Albuquerque.
As of April 3, 2021, APD has reported 34 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.
HOMICIDE CLEARANCE RATES
For the past 3 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 APD homicide clearance rate continued to deteriorate was less than 50%. The homicide clearance rate is now at 37% reported in the 2022 proposed budget.
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.
In 2020 during Keller’s third full year in office, Crimes Against Persons went 2019: 14,971 in 2019 to 15,262 in 2020.
“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.
In 2020 during Keller’s third full year in office Crimes Against Society, had 61% increase weapons law violations last year.
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.
911 EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES
In 2009, under Democrat 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 Republican Mayor RJ Berry the average response times to 911 emergency calls was 25 minutes.
In 2018 and 2019, under Democrat Mayor Tim Keller, the average response times to 911 emergency calls spiked to a full 48 minutes.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
For the past 3 years in a row, APD has compiled crime statistics using the National Incident-Based Reporting System in the 3 major categories as mandated by the FBI, yet the Keller Administration avoided incorporating those statistics in the 2022 proposed budget.
The Keller Administration proclaims in the proposed APD budget that it
“made the decision to “reimagine” how the City looks at performance and progress measures for services to the Albuquerque community. To kick off this work, APD is one of six departments piloting this new approach. As such, the performance measures section will look different from the rest of the departments in this document.”
It is simply a false statement that “APD is one of six departments piloting this new approach” in that when you examine all 27 individual department budgets, APD is the only department budget where entire statistical performance measure are redacted in areas with grey boxes and that’s why they “look different from the rest of the departments in this document.” No reference nor listing as to the other departments can be located.
When you look at the performance measures contained in APD’s budget, what appears is an actual “redacting” of critical statistics that renders the other statistics meaningless. APD is the one city department that is under a Department of Justice Consent decree with a Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 271 reforms. The CASA mandates 3 performance measures to be audited by a Federal Monitor.
The City Council budget process is one of the very few times that the council can bore deep down into each of the city department budgets. All too often, Mayor’s and their political operatives view the City Council more of an annoyance as opposed to being a legitimate oversight function. All to often, it becomes a process of members of the City Council asking the Mayor and his top executives the main question “What is it in this budget do you not want us to know about?”
One unmistakable conclusion that can be made is that the Keller Administration in a real sense is perpetrating a fraud on the City Council by failing to disclose material facts that are necessary to make an informed decision as to APD’s budget and performance.
Considering that Mayor Tim Keller has already announced that he is seeking a second 4-year term, it is not at all difficult to figure out why his administration took the time and effort to submit a proposed budget that “reimagines how the City looks at performance and progress measures” when it comes to APD. It is more likely than not the Keller Administration knows full well the data shows just how bad APD is failing in its mission of fighting crime and how dramatic APD has failed in its performance measures.
The City Council will now review the budget and can make changes as it sees fit. The council will hold public hearings April 29 and May 6 and has scheduled to take a final budget vote on May 17 or May 26. The enacted budget takes effect July 1, 2021.
Before the Albuquerque City Council begins public hearings, it needs to demand complete and accurate tabulation of APD’s performance measures, otherwise, they will fail in their oversight of APD and simply acting as a rubber stamp to what Mayor Keller wants.
A link to a related blog article on the entire 2021-2021 proposed budget is here:
City Releases 2021-2022 Proposed $1.2 Billion Budget, $711.5 Million General Fund Budget; City Council Must Ask “What Is In This Budget You Do Not Want Us To Know About?”
APD BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
As has been the case for all past budgets submitted by the Keller Administration, public safety continues to be the number one priority of the proposed 2022 city budget. For that reason, the major aspects of APD’s Budget merits review.
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) continues to be the largest budget department in the city. APD’s proposed budget of $227,696,000 is upwards of 31% of total general fund spending of $711,500,000. APD’s budget will be increased by 23.9% or $43.1 million above the 2021 fiscal budget which was $213 million.
Highlights of the APD proposed budget include:
Funding for 1,100 sworn positions and 592 civilian support positions for a total of 1,692 full-time positions. APD has 998 sworn officers after the March graduation of cadets from the APD academy. Last year’s budget also had funding for 1,100 officers, but APD has failed over the last 7 years to reach budgeted staffing levels.
$2.3 million in funding to annualize funding for 44 additional sworn officer positions added in FY/21.
$3.5 million for a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), subject to negotiations for positions associated with a union, health benefits and insurance administration.
$1.6 million for a net increase of 20 full-time positions for two full-time positions for the communications services department, one operation review language access coordinator, one senior buyer, one office assistant to support the Southeast Area Command Station and one office assistant to support the Northeast Command Station. Three full-time positions to support the Real Time Crime Center and 11 investigator positions to support internal affairs and compliance with DOJ.
$1,100,000 million for seven full-time positions added intra-year FY/21 at a total cost of including benefits and reduction of $126 thousand in contractual services for a net cost of $931 thousand.
$800,000 for the Department of Justice Independent Federal Monitor required under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement that is still pending after 6 years.
$400,000 for the Use of Force Review contract.
$800,000 thousand for the maintenance agreement for the new CAD/RMS software.
$106,000 for the family advocacy center lease.
$2,000,000 one-time funding increase Risk Recovery, which represents funding to cover litigation.
$74,000 for the Crisis Intervention (CIT) ECHO project.
$90,000 designated for the student loan forgiveness program for APD Officers.
$986,000 thousand for electronic control weapons (TAZER weapons).
$90,000 thousand for the CNM Cadet Academy.
$50,000 for the drag racing tactical plans from FY/21.
Funding for the following new positions are included:
One senior advisor to the Mayor and CAO and one internal investigations manager were created.
One violence intervention data analyst and one violence intervention special projects manager were created to support the critical mission of reducing violent gun crime in the City.
One Superintendent of Police reform position created to provide guidance in reshaping the training, internal affairs and compliance with the Department of Justice and the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) reforms.
One Assistant City Attorney was created for APD.