APD makes changes to improve response times

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — According to Albuquerque police, response times for the department are improving.

“The overall response time to all priorities this last week was down to 47 minutes, from one hour and 38 minutes,” said Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief J. J. Griego.

That’s a 51-minute decrease in the time it took for APD to respond to all calls last week, compared to calls during the week of Sept. 26 last year.

APD calls are handled by priority.

Priority 1 calls deal with immediate, life-threatening situations. APD told KOB 4 that their response time for those calls was 15 minutes, and stayed flat between the two measured periods.

Priority 2 calls are crimes in progress that may result in injury, major loss of property, or immediate apprehension of a suspect. They also cover car crashes with injuries. APD did not provide an exact time for these calls.

“Priority 2 is a little bit difficult to evaluate, because that includes all officer on-site activity,” Griego said.

Police did say those Priority 2 call times were down by a minute or two.

Officials said response times for non-emergency calls fell anywhere between one to three hours.

“It’s not just one thing that’s being done that’s helping us to decrease response times,” APD Chief Harold Medina said. “It’s a combination of a lot of different things that are occurring.”

APD has been getting help from the new Albuquerque Community Safety Department. City statistics show the department has responded to nearly 23,000 calls since it started in March 2021.

Other changes within the department include extending the types of crimes that can be reported online or by phone for following up.

“If it’s a misdemeanor, that report goes to the area command for follow up,” Griego said. “If it is a felony, it goes to the appropriate investigative unit.”

APD has worked with the Department of Justice to reduce the amount of time officers need to stay on scene of use of force incidents, and they’ve changed the rules when it coms to officers crossing area command boundaries.

“If have a call in the southeast area command, and all my units are tied up, and there’s an available unit in Valley Area command, that unit will be sent to that call after its been holding for a certain amount of time,” Griego said.

Authorities said a new dispatch system they hope to have online by April will further reduce response times.

“With the new CAD system we will also be able to dispatch based on GPS location,” Griego said. “All the officers will have GPS in their vehicles.”