APD targets speeders in Sunday night operation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A whole bunch of folks speeding in downtown Albuquerque recently have gotten a rude awakening – APD is cracking down, they’ve been out furiously writing citations on Central on Sunday nights.

APD has written more than 100 citations per night since this operation started three Sundays ago. Again, officers are mostly targeting speeding, but also working on decreasing calls for service in downtown on Sunday nights. And leaders say they’re already seeing a difference.

"There are a lot of drivers out there who look at speed limits as suggestions or as a guideline, if you will. And not as a law. And so I think it’s just a blatant disregard and lack of respect for the speed limit. Period," said APD Commander Scott Norris.

The Valley Area Command is leading the Sunday night operation and officers are aggressively targeting illegal behavior.

"We have directed our officers that this is a strict enforcement type of operation. And when I say strict enforcement, the discretion is very limited. And enforcement action needs to be taken," said Norris.

It’s action that members of Albuquerque’s cruising community are happy to see. Michelle Brooks and her car club, Making Memories Car Club, hate to see their sacred Sunday nights taken over by reckless behavior.

"We have pedestrians walking back and forth communicating with each other and it’s hard when motorcycles and other cars come in and start burning out," said Brooks.

The police department started the operation in mid-January, and anticipated high numbers of citations.

"Because of just the high volume of traffic that goes on there, along that part of the city, the fact that we obviously know that there is a speeding problem in this town, along with a modified exhaust problem in this town," said Norris.

And the problem has become deadly in recent months. Leaders say the hit-and-run crash that killed a seven-year-old boy in December was a catalyst for APD taking strict action.

"This is one thing that we want to you know prevent from happening again, obviously. I know that there was some external factors that may have contributed to that particular incident," Norris said. "That’s a symptom of a larger problem that has to do with some of the speeding in this town and that’s what can happen."

Norris says they’re already seeing a decrease in disturbance calls in the area, and hopes this operation translates to a better quality of life for people in downtown.

"The big goal in this is to effect a change in behavior with individuals. And we’re seeing that change in behavior. So it’s something that we want to continue to see, it’s something that we want to continue to promote and enforce."

APD says there’s an indefinite timeline on this operation– officers will continue to strictly enforce the laws until they meet the goal of changing behavior in this part of town.