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Only Berry considered for Chamber of Commerce's public safety award

Caleb James
June 30, 2017 06:53 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Break-ins, burglaries, robberies: Albuquerque's crime is skyrocketing. Then there are the auto thefts, the worst rate in the nation.

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Many don't feel safe anymore. Many live in fear in the city. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry admits crime has spiked under his watch, but Thursday he was honored for his public safety work.

Here are a couple of things KOB learned about the award:

  • It's brand new this year.
  • Berry was the only person ever considered for the award.

It was an almost Marie Antoinette moment. Outside the Albuquerque Museum, protestors decried Berry's Public Safety Award. Inside, applause came for the man who leads one of America's statistically most violent cities.

Chamber of Commerce President Terri Cole presented the award to the mayor Thursday night. Who else was considered?

"Um, you know, R.J.'s name was identified and there was consensus," she said.

Cole said flatly the brand new award was never considered for anyone else. It's based largely, she said, on funding Berry secured for in-depth research and analysis by the Bloomberg Foundation to look at crime patterns and trends.

"That kind of data will serve us very well to help improve our ability to differentiate offenders," Cole said.

That will come some day, she says.

"Well as I said, we believe that these programs have the most potential to be data-driven and to intelligently fight crime," she said. "You know, great efforts have a starting place."

During an interview with KOB's Chris Ramirez, the mayor seemed to distance himself from the award on a personal level, saying instead he'd accept it on behalf of the men and women of Albuquerque law enforcement.

"Well, and I'm going to say tonight I accept this on behalf of the men and women at APD," Berry said.

The reaction to Berry receiving this award has been swift and largely negative

Credits

Caleb James

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

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