New Mexico Sun News Article On Mayor Keller’s “Targeted Enforcement Action Monitoring”; TEAM Is As Messed Up As Any Mayor Can Get With Police

On June 29, the online news agency the New Mexico Sun published the following news article written by staff reported Andy Nghiem:

HEADLINE: Former Albuquerque city councilor criticizes Keller’s initiative to ‘shake down’ downtown business owners

“Local attorney and former Albuquerque City Councilor Pete Dinelli minced no words when describing Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s recent downtown crime initiative, calling it a “shakedown.”

According to the City of Albuquerque website, Keller announced a new public-private crime initiative, which asks business owners to contribute to a fund that would be used to pay for additional officers stationed downtown.

“The TEAM program requiring private funding for police protection is as messed up as any mayor can get with a police department. There is absolutely no excuse for Mayor Keller and Chief (Harold) Medina to ‘shake down’ downtown business owners to pay for police protection,” Dinelli told the New Mexico Sun. “APD (Albuquerque police department) has the largest city budget with a $255.4 million budget and with a 14.7% increase. The city is projected to have over $100 million more in gross receipts this coming fiscal year, yet Keller and Medina want downtown business owners to pay and donate for more police protection they have a right to demand and expect. Keller and Medina proclaimed they are working in a resource-constrained environment, when what really exists is gross incompetence by Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Harold Medina to manage APD resources.”

Representatives from some of Albuquerque’s downtown businesses are skeptical of Keller’s pitch to have them pay more for more police manpower. KOAT 7 News reported that Stuart Dunlap, CEO of The Man’s Hat Shop, said he thinks it is “out of line.”

“I think it’s very silly,” Dunlap told KOAT 7 News. “We already pay taxes for police protection. We pay property taxes. We pay business tax. We buy a business license. Having additional money come in from business owners downtown is completely out of line, I think.”

In a recent op-ed published in the New Mexico Sun, Dinelli contends that APD has the resources it needs but lacks the personnel. “APD is awash with unused funding. Yet Keller and Medina seek private funding, telling downtown business owners they need to take ‘control of their own future’ by paying for police protection.”

Earlier this year, the AP News reported on Albuquerque’s rise in crime, as the city recorded 117 killings in 2021, “shattering” its previous record by 46% and amassing enough violent crimes per 10,000 people to place Albuquerque in the top-ten most violent cities with a population over 100,000.”



The New Mexico Sun is part of the Sun Publishing group which is a nonprofit. The New Mexico Sun “mission statement” states in part:

“The New Mexico Sun was established to bring fresh light to issues that matter most to New Mexicans. It will cover the people, events, and wonders of our state. … The New Mexico Sun is non-partisan and fact-based, and we don’t maintain paywalls that lead to uneven information sharing. We don’t publish quotes from anonymous sources that lead to skepticism about our intentions, and we don’t bother our readers with annoying ads about products and services from non-locals that they will never buy. … Many New Mexico media outlets minimize or justify problematic issues based on the individuals involved or the power of their positions. Often reporters fail to ask hard questions, avoid making public officials uncomfortable, and then include only one side of a story. This approach doesn’t provide everything readers need to fully understand what is happening, why it matters, and how it will impact them or their families.”

The home page link to the New Mexico Sun is here:

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.