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#abq4ward: Amid growing crime epidemic, KOB news team tackles the issue

Chris Ramirez
July 18, 2017 06:58 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There is so much to be proud of and so much beauty in Albuquerque --beauty that reminds many why they chose to live here in the first place.

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But in recent years, that beauty has been eroded by a tidal wave of crime. The Albuquerque many love, including us at KOB, is now at the top of the list when it comes to auto theft. Home burglaries, robberies and many violent crimes are also at a record high.

It’s gotten to the point where citizens are taking matters into their own hands, knowing that the Albuquerque Police Department is low on manpower and crime rates are high. Vigilante justice is becoming more common, like business owners sleeping in their shops with guns.

At times it feels like our city leaders are out of touch with reality, like when the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce recently honored Mayor Richard Berry with a public safety award, even though many would say their feelings of security have dwindled as APD remains understaffed and crime continues to rise.

We here at KOB have been victims of crime ourselves. It reached the point of cruel irony last month when one of our station’s vehicles was stolen while we were downtown reporting on a crime problem.

Enough is enough. It’s time to analyze the problems closer than we ever have before, down to finding the root causes and potential solutions. It’s also time we challenge our community leaders and hold them accountable for their decisions.

So now, we are changing the way we report on those problems. Our reporters have spent months researching what is happening in Albuquerque.

Here’s just a sampling of the questions we are asking:

  • APD has significantly grown its budget in the last decade. Where are the results?
  • Where are the hot spots for criminals, and what are police doing to make us safe?
  • Should we be preparing for this crime spike to be the new normal?
  • What are neighborhoods doing to fight the epidemic as they band together?
  • How does police response in wealthy parts of the city differ from poorer areas?
  • Why do so many street lights remain broken, when they are a simple way to improve safety?

Judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys are playing with a new set of rules. Are those new rules helping or hurting public safety?

KOB also has a message for the city’s future leaders that are running for political offices and asking for your votes this fall: we are expecting detailed and realistic plans on how you intend to fight Albuquerque’s crime problem.

In reporting on the epidemic, we want our viewers to join in on the discussion via social media. Tell us your stories, ask us your questions and give your input on KOB.com under the #abq4ward tab, and use the hashtag #abq4ward on social media. This is an important conversation, and we’ll be listening and talking with you. 

Credits

Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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