APD focuses on city bus stops in new operation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A metro law enforcement agency is trying a new approach to fight the drug issues plaguing Albuquerque, and it’s already seeing some results. 

The Albuquerque Police Department is working to make the city buses and bus stops safer.

“We’ve received several complaints and concerns from both city employees, from transient, and also from talking to the community,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. 

Medina says they’ve been getting complaints about drugs on city buses and bus stops along Central Avenue, so they decided to take a closer look at the issue.

“After our operation a couple of weeks ago, ‘Sticky Fingers,’ where we saw that some shoplifters had utilized the bus, not all but some, we realized that we wanted to take a few other steps forward,” said Medina. 

He says they’ve been doing a combination of things to try and stop the drug sales at these stops.  

“Utilizing undercover officers to just observe interaction and transactions at the bus stops, we’re actually even working on each area command a couple of times a week, asking officers to get on the bus for an hour, to be seen within the area command, just ride the buses,” Medina said. 

The goal is to increase APD’s presence to hopefully deter people from using or selling drugs. So far, the efforts are paying off. 

APD arrested one man on Sunday who they believe is a big fish in drug dealing.

“We believe that this individual is responsible for quite a bit of drug dealing that was occurring at the bus stops, and that that was kind of like his path of service was the bus stop,” said Medina. 

Medina says the operation is ongoing as they try and catch more drug dealers by surprise. 

“It’s a good step in the right direction to make sure that we’re helping all the individuals who are trying to either ride the bus, or for the employees who are driving the buses,” he said. 

Medina says the man who was arrested was found with 5,000 fentanyl pills and several other drugs. A judge released the man after his first appearance in court.