Albuquerque below yearly average in homicides so far

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – APD Commander George Vega says, for the first time in a long time, homicides in Albuquerque are slowing down.

“As we stand right now, I feel like we’re going in the right direction,” Vega said. 

Last year at this time, 54 people had been killed in the city. This year, we’re at 44.  

Vega is looking at the last few months of last year and sees something positive.

“You’re looking at an eight month decrease, which is, you know, excellent,” said Vega. 

Albuquerque has set a record for homicides three of the past four years. 2020 – the year we were all told to stay at home is the exception.

“We’re working smarter now,” said Vega. 

He says they identified last May, and June as exceptionally violent – 15 homicides each month. Now, Vega says they’re trying to increase their presence.

“We’re running more operations now, more divisions are in communication on who’s out, and more targeted areas that we’re looking at,” Vega said. 

Last month, APD detectives handled eight homicides. 

“A couple of weeks will go by, and we’ll have maybe one homicide. But, then we’ll have a weekend, like we did last weekend where you have four cases that pop up,” he said. 

So far in June, we’ve had five homicide cases. The recent party where three teens were shot and killed counts as two cases. That’s because police say one shooter was killed, so it’s considered justifiable.

“When we get through, you know, the summer months let’s see what worked and what didn’t,” said Vega. 

Vega says expanding the homicide unit to 16 current detectives, growing the digital intelligence team, investments in technology and adding victim advocates have all helped.

“I would say the Albuquerque Police Department is more of a team now then before,” said Vega.