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Mayor Tim Keller: Final Budget Reflects Our Priorities to Fund City’s Most Urgent Needs

Albuquerque City Council comes together to pass budget that includes funding for public safety, expanded opportunities for kids, and local economic development

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On Monday, May 21, 2018, Mayor Tim Keller thanked the Albuquerque City Council for their approval of a budget that included the major priorities he proposed, including hiring more police officers, expanding before-school, after-school and summer programs for kids, and supporting local business development.

“The voters gave us a clear mandate six months ago to tackle the city’s most urgent challenges head on. City Council stepped up and passed the resources for our top priorities – public safety, opportunities for our kids and local jobs,” stated Mayor Keller after the budget passed unanimously 9-0. “Tonight, we came together as one Albuquerque to help make our community more safe, innovative and inclusive.”

Albuquerque City Council President Ken Sanchez applauded the budget saying, “The most important issue our city is facing today is public safety. This budget goes a long way to addressing the needs of the community and ensuring this administration has the resources they need to accomplish their goals. We will continue to work together to increase the number of officers who live in our communities and respond to crime. ”

The final budget includes public safety and other priorities for the next fiscal year, including:

  • Recruiting efforts to hire 100 new officers in the coming fiscal year, the first step towards the Mayor’s goal of hiring 400 officers over four years. New officers will help address shortfalls in every area command, specialized units, vehicle theft operations, detectives, and the Safe City Strike Force.
  • Funding the tools our police officers need to fight crime and implement constitutional policing such as $4 million for replacement of outdated equipment and $1.8 million for the Property Crime Reduction Program.
  • $1.8 million to address backlogs at the crime lab, including the over 4,000 untested sexual assault evidence kits and the 16-month processing time for latent fingerprints.

“One of our City’s most pressing issues is behavioral health, and this budget makes strides to increase outreach and access to important treatment that will make all the difference in our communities,” said City Councilor Klarissa Peña (Dist. 3). “I’m especially pleased that we will be increasing access to effective programs for kids in my district and across the city.”

Attacking Albuquerque’s crime epidemic must also include efforts to address behavioral and mental health, homelessness, jobs and the economy, and opportunities for children. The City’s operating budget also includes:

  • $3.2 million to develop the Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Outreach Program, a targeted care program for indigent and distressed populations that makes better use of public safety resources and delivers effective specialized care into neighborhoods.
  • $15 million in affordable housing contracts and $8.2 million in homeless services, which include: transitional housing and emergency shelter, funded in the budget and through grants, to provide non-officer, service-based responses to homelessness.
  • Funding of the Economic Development Department’s core programs, including supporting local businesses, aligning expenditures to keep tax dollars in our local economy instead of flowing out-of-state, and recruiting new businesses.
  • Doubling access to successful before-school, after-school and summer programming to keep kids off the streets and out of harm’s way.

“This budget shows our priorities are in the right place,” said Councilor Pat Davis (Dist. 6). “This budget hits a balance between building the foundation for a safer community and hiring the number of police officers we need to respond to calls.”