Albuquerque installs 50 lights in alleyways along Central
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque city leaders have unveiled their latest move to increase public safety downtown and deter crime. The city has installed 50 lights in alleyways along Central.
That might seem like an easy fix, but Mayor Tim Keller says his office has been doing lots of research and this is just the beginning of the lighting project.
“When I came in, we did a number of studies that said that the city does not have enough lights and that lighting is heavily correlated to obviously things like public safety, but also pedestrian safety,” Keller said.
City officials hope the lights will increase safety for people in the area.
“As we get closer here into downtown, one of the biggest challenges we’ve had has been the alleys like the one behind me,” Keller said during a news conference near Central and 7th. “Unfortunately, a lot of the challenges that we have, whether in a parking lot or in a bar, for example, when they spill out, it leads to crime in these alleyways.”
The Albuquerque Police Department has also brought solutions to the table. In 2022, they opened a substation downtown on 4th Street and have also added surveillance cameras along Central.
“With our proactive enforcement and our visibility from our downtown officers, year to date, our aggravated assaults are down 42%, sex crimes are down 32%, and auto burglaries are down 9%,” APD Commander Nick Wheeler said.
In 2023, APD officers also recovered 30 firearms since they implemented the “gun-free zone” with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The city is also in the process of adding lights on MLK and Marquette. The governor has given the city $1.8 million to put toward the light project.
CABQ Downtown Lighting Initiative: Completed Improvements
- Installed 50 new lights in alleyways and overhead lights on Gold, Silver, Lead, and Coal streets.
- Added 8 new cameras along Central between 1st and 7th Street that link directly to APD’s Real Time Crime Center.
- Illumination enhancements under the railroad tracks at Central and I-40 at Gabaldon Road.
- Placement of 52 new lights in Wells Park, complementing the new park and community center on 4th, 5th, and 6th streets.
- New lighting infrastructure in front of the MLK Mural on Tijeras.
- Created the Don Perkins Downtown Public Safety Center to increase police presence downtown.
- Added gunshot detection and 5 license plate readers downtown.
- Established Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring (TEAM), an overtime program created in partnership with local business owners to increase the number of officers on patrol during peak hours.
- New, lighted flagpoles at 8th and Central.