APD to crack down on misdemeanor crimes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque Police Department says they are working to enforce more laws involving misdemeanor crimes like trespassing and shoplifting. 

While they are tracking who commits these crimes, and how often, the decision on whether or not they should stay behind bars is still out of their hands. 

They are problems most people have seen across the metro. Misdemeanor crimes like trespassing, criminal property damage, and of course shoplifting. 

“We have heard loud and clear that the community wants us to enforce these laws and there are misperceptions out there that we are not allowing our officers to,” APD Chief Herold Medina said.

In the last year and a half, APD has made sure their officers understand what laws they can enforce, based on their longtime agreement with the department of justice. 

“We got some clarification on what we could and couldn’t do through our various court agreements and as those clarifications have come through, we have really pushed our officers to feel comfortable making arrests and writing citations,” Medina said. 

In just the last week officers have made 62 misdemeanor arrests, wrote 54 citations, issued 88 criminal summons, and 55 criminal trespass notifications. 

“What that does is allow us to in the future issue a criminal citation or arrest a person if a subsequent violation occurs because they have already been served a legal notice on it,” Medina said. 

APD has been tracking these citations and arrests weekly since October, and they say they are seeing a change in the community – but increasing enforcement is only half the battle when it comes to making a change in the city’s crime rate. 

“The unfortunate part is that we know the city of Albuquerque the mayor’s office the city council and the police chief none of us dictate whether and individual remains in custody or is prosecuted and none of us can change that,” Medina said. 

Medina added they are going to start publishing misdemeanor arrest and citation numbers weekly to show the work their officers are doing in these areas.