City points to program for drop in downtown Albuquerque crime
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The City of Albuquerque says crime is on the decline in many categories in downtown Albuquerque. They say a key player in the drop in crime is the new downtown TEAM program.
“I think right now we are seeing early indications that this is helping,” said Mayor Tim Keller.
TEAM stands for “Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring.”
Basically, downtown business owners pitch in money to pay overtime for TEAM police officers.
“This is nothing different than Chief’s overtime that we would do at Walmart or Target. But we said ‘Instead of supporting big boxes, we’re going to allocate those resources downtown,'” said Keller.
On Wednesday, Albuquerque police reported that since September 2022, downtown has seen a 6% overall drop in crime.
“In shootings we’ve seen a 50% decrease, we’ve seen auto burglaries 42% decrease, auto theft 34% decrease,” said APD Chief Harold Medina.
Crime isn’t down in every category. APD reports robbery cases doubled with 10 this year to date, and five during the same period in 2022.
Burglaries also ticked up slightly, as did shootings without injuries.
“We know there is still much work, and we will continue to work the TEAM overtime concept to ensure that we’re putting resources in the proper place,”said Medina.
APD says TEAM is also just one piece of the puzzle to tackling crime downtown. The city has used federal funding to install additional cameras downtown, and it installed additional lighting.
On top of that, APD says officers are focused on proactive community policing.
“They’ve done a wonderful job in building relationships with downtown businesses to ensure that those business owners know that they know the cop on their beat,” Medina said.
The city says 11 downtown businesses pitched in $150,000 for the TEAM program. That amount should get them through 2023 and into the next.