Updated: August 04, 2020 06:09 PM
Created: August 04, 2020 04:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Violent crime continues to be a problem in Albuquerque.
By KOB 4's count, there have been 42 homicides in the city in 2020. On Aug. 4, 2019, there had been 47 homicides in the city.
"I think it's really misleading to judge our crime and our violent crime situation by homicides alone," said Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos.
In 2019, there were 80 homicides in Albuquerque, a record number for the city.
But it wasn't just homicides that were up. The last time APD released its crime stats, they showed a 1% increase in violent crimes against people from 2018 to 2019 - including a slight jump in aggravated assaults and rape.
Gallegos claims the city is making progress, and is now honing in on guns.
"One of the - things - priorities for the administration for the police department is gun crimes in particular," Gallegos said. "Most of our homicides have been with guns. We've had a lot of shootings with injuries. And over the past year, we've really been dissecting that data."
Guns, and gun data, are studied closely by Miranda Viscoli, co-president the nonprofit organization, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.
"I think we're going to continue to see this uptick," she said. "The problem is the access to guns."
Viscoli has been involved with passing gun legislation in Santa Fe. She believes more legislation would help, and says treating the root of Albuquerque's crime problem takes time.
Viscoli said she doesn't completely fault the Keller administration for the amount of gun crimes in the city.
"I think it's similar to what happened with Obama when he came into the presidency, and we just had the recession. Everybody blamed the recession on him. Right? He walked into that and Mayor Keller has walked into a very, very difficult problem," she said. "We're not just dealing with crime, we're dealing with a police department that was having serious issues."
The unanswered question is when and if Albuquerque will start seeing meaningful improvement.
Viscoli believes Albuquerque is headed in the right direction.
"I think we definitely are and I think it's going to take some time," she said.
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