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Mayor Keller and Chief Geier Statements on Tragic Deaths of Children

Mayor Keller and Chief Geier share the pain of the Albuquerque community following the tragic deaths of children and teenagers in recent weeks.

Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Mike Geier released the following statements about the tragic deaths of several children and teenagers in recent weeks.

Mayor Tim Keller said:

“Our community has been shaken by the recent deaths of these children and teenagers. These tragedies have ripped through our city, hitting home just how vulnerable young people can be. At one year old, Anastazia Zuber was only just beginning her life. Our community also lost a young girl to violence at the hands of a family member. And the deaths of teenagers Ahmed Lateef and Collin Romero showed us the depths of the challenges that young people today are facing. It is simply wrong and we cannot allow it to become normal.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the family members and friends who are grieving. APD and other law enforcement agencies are focused on bringing justice to the perpetrators. As a community, we are asking that we continue to come together and step up for kids. In 2019, we are continuing to invest in public safety and create opportunities for kids, especially those at risk. We are joining with neighborhoods, churches and community organizations to work hand-in-hand to address these challenges, and pushing for more diversion and prevention programs in our city.”

Police Chief Mike Geier said:

“As first-responders, our officers are profoundly impacted any time they investigate the death of a child, no matter the circumstance. We have been challenged as a community with the deaths of several children in the past few weeks. As we grieve these losses, we want the community, and especially the families of these children, to know that officers are committed to pursuing justice on their behalf.

“Most of us in law enforcement are parents. Some of us are grandparents. I made it a priority to bring back community policing in Albuquerque and encourage officers to engage with youth every chance they get. We have a responsibility, beyond law enforcement, to invest in the future of all children in the community. I ask the people of Albuquerque to join with us and redouble our efforts to protect children and support them when they need it most.”