Updated: September 02, 2020 06:15 PM
Created: September 02, 2020 04:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Despite initial concerns, Mayor Tim Keller is open to accepting $10 million in federal money to hire 40 more Albuquerque Police Department officers.
Keller spoke Wednesday about why he was hesitant to initially accept the money.
"I think fundamentally, it's the President of the United States, which I know sounds awkward, but in this case, it was really the president," Keller said.
The mayor was concerned about the president's rhetoric, and what stipulations would come with the money.
"Our local teams have worked together fine, and we work through these issues regularly. But the things he was saying was very concerning. So we just had to make sure that, that's not the case for this particular grant," Keller said.
The grant was announced along with Operation Legend, a federal crime fighting initiative.
Keller says the city has signed off on accepting the money. The city council will vote on whether to approve it.
Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton said he and other councilors actually lobbied for this money during a past visit to Washington, D.C.
"Well, I think it got kinda mixed up with some of the stuff with President Trump sending these officers to Portland and civil unrest, and so forth," Benton said. "Really has nothing to do with that."
Terri Cole, president of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, said the organization has been working to reverse violent crime, so the business community can grow, and they believe the money will help.
"We just believe everybody ought to keep the eye on the ball of the problem," Cole said.
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