APD doubles number of traffic stops to net offenders
April 04, 2018 10:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In a city struggling with a troubling property crime rate, The Albuquerque Police Department is focusing on traffic patrols to catch more wanted offenders.
From Jan. 1 until March 8, APD conducted nearly double the number of traffic stops compared to the same time period in 2015.
- 2015 YTD: 4,990
- 2016 YTD: 5,506
- 2017 YTD: 5,522
- 2018 YTD: 9,560
-- data provided by APD
Two officers stopped Reid Lathrop on Tennessee Street on March 29 for a traffic violation. Police found methamphetamine and heroin in his car and discovered he had a felony warrant for his arrest.
On March 20, police pulled over driver Jose Cortez on Wellesley Avenue for a traffic violation and found a stolen gun in his car. Officers later learned that he had a felony warrant for trafficking a controlled substance.
On March 1, 39-year-old Douglas Meyer ran a red light on University Boulevard. A UNM Police Department officer pulled Meyer over and called APD for backup after finding a grenade in his car. Police later learned that his license plate was stolen and he was already facing a charge for allegedly having a stolen vehicle.
"In order to be more proactive, why not get them in custody for a felony warrant before they're caught doing another crime in progress?” APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina said.
In February 2017, 4 Investigates dug through traffic data and discovered APD was issuing far fewer tickets due to the officer shortage. As of this year, the numbers are starting to turn around.
"A lot of criminals are transient, they live from one home to another," Medina said. "They don't update their registration much less follow the law in a lot of other areas. So expired registration, no insurance, cracked windshields are all reasons officers can pull individuals over speeding."
In the past, KOB has asked APD if the department was worried about the dangers of conducting traffic stops after former officer Lou Golson was shot several times. Medina said the department is focusing on de-escalation tactics to better protect officers.
Updated: April 04, 2018 10:10 PM
Created: April 04, 2018 09:40 PM
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