APD command center making an impact on Nob Hill, University area

[anvplayer video=”5189978″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For a while, people across the Albuquerque metro have been concerned and frustrated with police response time or with some parts of the city lacking police presence.

The Nob Hill and University areas have been places of concern for some. Earlier this year, APD introduced a new area command center based on the number of calls for service.

“Before this happened, our part of town wasn’t getting much attention,” said Jeff Hoehn, president of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association.

Hoehn says that having a stronger police presence in this area has been a long time coming.

So Albuquerque police divided the already existing Southeast Area Command in two.

“The University area command starts at San Mateo, it goes down to I-25, the northern border is I-40, and it goes all the way down past Mesa Del Sol,” said Ray Del Greco, APD deputy commander. “We have about 30 square miles of land that we’re responsible for.”

That area also encompasses places like Isotopes Park, The Pit, as well as UNM and CNM’s main campuses.

“We have a lot of the public coming to this area for the Isotopes, New Mexico Lobo basketball, and football, so we wanted an area that was centrally located,” Del Greco said.

On Friday, community members were able to take a tour of the area command. With nearly 50 officers, it’s fully operational. However, it’s a pilot project, meaning that after a year, the department will determine if it should become a permanent fixture in the city.

The Nob Hill Neighborhood Association president says it should be.

“With this area command, we’ve seen a dramatic difference in the response times from police and just their presence in the community,” Hoehn said. “We support our police and we want more police, and actually having them present for us means everything. I know we’re going to be big supporters of the commander of the substation and will do whatever we can to keep it.”

After a year, the administration will have to go in front of the city council with proof that the new area command is effective.

“So the proof is in the pudding, so we have to put up,” Del Greco said. “We have to lower crime numbers and we have to justify the fact that we are reducing call response times, lowering crime, and affecting the community in a positive manner.”