APD: 34,000 traffic citations issued this year
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department recently released information on year-end data from its traffic unit.
Chief Harold Medina said APD gave out 20,000 citations last year. This year, officers gave out over 34,000 citations.
“I think this 82% increase is huge for us as a department,” Medina said. “You know, departments across the country are strapped with resources, we actually have less people assigned to our traffic section. They are making a bigger difference.”
According to APD, there are 19 traffic officers and five DWI officers. Traffic Unit Commander Joe Veirs said the department is tackling traffic concerns with a data-driven approach.
“I had pulled some numbers for the past several years, and I noticed a direct correlation where the more citations that were issued, the less fatalities there were,” Veirs said.
APD said there were 86 deadly traffic crashes in 2021, with 36 pedestrian-related crashes. So far this year, there have been 61 deadly crashes, with 23 pedestrian-related crashes.
“Another area that was neglected quite a bit in the past was the Central corridor,” Veirs said. “We hit that pretty heavily this past year, issuing citations along Central.”
Commander Viers said there were over 7,000 citations given along Central this year.
In regards to DWI, APD said there were 18 DWI checkpoints this year and 697 total DWI arrests so far.
There were also 29 street racing operations that led to 751 total citations, including those for just watching street racing. Police said 17 cars involved in street racing were stopped with road spikes.
“We’ve started using tire deflation devices on these vehicles that are fleeing at a high rate of speed, which can cause more fatalities and more serious injuries for no reason other than the fact that they want to try and get that thrill of getting away,” said Lt. Chris Patterson with APD’s DWI Unit.
APD leaders said this is a step in the right direction, but they hope to continue making progress.