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Council President Lewis to Introduce Legislation to Explore Consolidating Public Safety Services in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County

Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis will introduce a resolution, R-16-142, at the Monday, December 5, 2016 City Council meeting that calls for a study to determine the feasibility of consolidating fire and police services in the City of Albuquerque and unincorporated Bernalillo County.

Council President Lewis said that public safety is local government’s most important task, but also its most challenging, and represents a substantial share of the budgets of both the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. “Eighty-three percent of Bernalillo County residents live within the City limits of Albuquerque,” he said. “There is considerable overlap between BCFD, AFD, the Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Office, and APD. These four agencies have so much in common that it very possibly makes sense to consolidate them into a regional public safety agency.”

There is a history of communities improving public safety by consolidating services, from the consolidation of the City of Las Vegas, Nev., and Clark County Public Safety Agencies in 1954 to the merger of the Charlotte, N.C., Police Department and Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in 1993. This approach has been proven to provide more efficient delivery of police services, lower response times, reduced overtime expenses, lower overall operating costs, and it eliminates duplication of effort by multiple agencies. Consolidation allows first responders better access to resources, more training opportunities, greater flexibility in staffing, the ability to afford specialized equipment and the ability to establish expert units.

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Contact Information

Rachel Miller

Policy Analyst

Albuquerque City Council

(505) 768-3189