Friday, July 08, 2016

ABQ's Crime Spree And The Absence Of Fear 

ABQ Mayor Richard Berry says he has hired a consultant for $60,000 to "study" why the city's crime rate is bursting through the roof. That does not seem to be an answer that will sell well if and when Berry seeks the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nomination.

The cause of crime can be complicated but one factor that this corner sees at play in the current crime spree is the severely understaffed APD.

No better example of that is the wild abandonment that so many freeway drivers engage in, passing other vehicles at speeds of 90 MPH or more without a care in the world or a fear of being caught. Imagine the property thiefs and violent crime offenders feeling pretty much the same way as they go about their "business."

Predictably and as they should, Berry's critics pounced as he tried to fade the crime outbreak to a consultant. From Facebook:

It would be a lot cheaper and faster to buy 12 mirrors, one for himself, one for Chied Administrative Officer Rob Rob Perry, one for ABQ Police Chief Gorden Eden and one for each of our 9 Albuquerque City Councilors. 

Seven years ago when Mayor Berry took office, APD was the best staffed, best trained, and best equipped police department in its history, with one of the best police academies in the country. APD had 1,100 sworn police officers, response times had been brought down below the national average and violent and property crimes were hitting historical lows. Today, APD has 850 sworn officers with only 430 patrolling our streets, responding to 69,000 911 priority calls a year and the police academy has deteriorated. 

Since 2009, when Mayor Berry took office, auto thefts have almost doubled, ABQ's  violent crime rates have dramatically increased and in 2015 murders spiked by 53%! During Berry’s second term, the Department of Justice found a “culture of aggression” within APD. In seven years, APD officers have shot over 40 people with over $40 million paid in police misconduct cases. This is what you get from a Mayor whose priorities are building a bus no one will use and remodeling a 60 year old convention center that should be torn down. What is worse is a City Council that has allowed all this to happen.

Well, welcome to late in your second term, Mr. Mayor. Have a nice weekend. . .or something.

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