Updated: August 18, 2020 10:03 PM
Created: August 18, 2020 05:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller insists that his administration is chipping away at the crime problem in the city.
As of August 18, 2020, there were 47 homicides in the city. At the same time in 2019, there had been 50 homicides in Albuquerque.
The Albuquerque Police Department reports that it is making arrests for about half of all homicides.
"We know that the clearance rate is a little bit lower than it has been. It's not out of line with the national standards," Keller said. "But, I will say the reason why we're challenged is because there are so many homicides. So, the more homicides there are, the lower the clearance rate is going to be."
The FBI reports that the national homicide clearance rate is 61%. In Albuquerque, it's 57% for 2020.
The city was offered financial help to combat crime if it participated in Operation Legend. The city declined because it does not believe the operation is in line with the values of the city.
However, Mayor Keller said he is not aware of any federal agent doing anything out of line with the city's values.
"The federal government can do what they want to do and not tell the mayor about it," Keller said. "So, I'm just saying I have not heard anything, but that's all I can speak to. I can't speak for those organizations."
Keller said he is willing to work with federal agencies if he has something in writing that states that their objective aligns with the city's values.
Keller also reacted to the Albuquerque Police Officers Association's survey that said 83% officers did not feel supported the mayor, and that 80% would consider getting into a different line of work.
"I think that survey has been pretty much the same for the last 10 years. It has said that about anyone in any position. And so, I always want to see better numbers. But, I think we got to push forward. The concept that we both believe in together, is can we make this safer city and how can we make it a better department," Keller said. "And actually the union and myself, we agree on the goals. And so, the long-standing, decade-long challenges we've had - it's going to be a long way to dig out. I will say this, they got the largest raise they've had in a decade under my administration and my direction. And we've had more officers than we've had for at least the last five or six years, then we've ever had. So I think our administration, at least on a relative basis is doing, much, much better."
The union said this year was the first time they've ever asked rank-and-file officers if they feel supported by the mayor. They've been doing this surveys since 2015.
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