APD plans to ramp up security for ART buses

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque transit officials took police officers along on an ART bus ride to get a better understanding of the safety concerns riders face daily.

“We want to understand those realities, address those realities and make people feel safe,” said Gilbert Gallegos, APD spokesman. “If they aren’t feeling safe, they aren’t going to ride the buses and a lot of people use the bus system to get to work, shop, get around the city and we want them to be as safe as possible.”

Loitering and drug use were the biggest concerns for people who talked with officers.

ABQ Ride partnered with Metro Security in the past, but plans will go in a different direction come next week.

Starting in July, APD is taking over transit security.

“25 positions have been allotted security for the buses, so as of July 1, once that money starts coming in, we are going to start hiring security officers,” Gallegos said. “They won’t be sworn officers, but they will be security officers working for APD.”

APD will also incorporate its Real Time Crime Center to identify hot spots for security guards to respond to.