Overall crime down, gun violence up in Albuquerque
December 27, 2018 05:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Crime in Albuquerque is down overall for the first time in nearly a decade, but gun violence is on the rise.
That's according to the Mayor Time Keller and APD Chief Mike Geier, who released the year-end statistics for 2018 during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"For the first time in a nearly a decade overall crime has decreased in Albuquerque," said Keller.
The city said auto theft is down 31% in 2018 compared to 2017, and robbery is down 36%.
"Our work to change the culture at APD and to work and neighborhood community policing to keep us safe seem to be having an impact especially in those to areas," said Keller.
The city also saw a 29% decrease in car burglaries, an 18% drop in home burglaries, and a 10% dip in homicides since 2017.
"We have a long way to go,” said Keller. “The overall rates are still unacceptably high but I also think there's no other way to look at it besides a positive attitude that over the last 10 years this is the first time at least we're going in the right direction."
Keller said police will be treating gun violence in the city as a public health crisis because it is on the rise.
"We have failed as a society, frankly, to do this in the first place and it's something that continues to plague us each and every day when reading the front page of the newspaper or watch our television sets," said Keller.
According to the city, homicides are down 10% in 2018 compared to last year. But in nearly 70% of those murders, a gun was used. Shootings that weren't deadly are up 4 percent year to year.
"This level of gun violence can't continue,” said Geier. “We're going to target gun violence and the criminals who use these guns with the same focus that we used against and auto theft and robberies this past year, we're going to be relentless."
Geier said APD plans to add resources, invest in new technology like a city-wide gunshot detection system, and work with communities to try to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
"We're going to announce several new initiatives in the coming weeks and we'll work together with legislators and city councilors to make this a priority for Albuquerque,” said Geier. “We know there's a long road ahead but we have to try these new approaches."
Geier attributed the increase in gun violence to substance abuse.
Created: December 27, 2018 05:26 PM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved