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“One Albuquerque: Engage” makes a difference for public safety

Programming in downtown Albuquerque is having an impact on public safety.

December 7, 2018

This Friday, December 7 marks the end of the first year of One Albuquerque: Engage, the monthly initiative in downtown Albuquerque to fill vacant buildings and promote public safety. Data gathered during this time by the Albuquerque Police Department and compared to last year reveals an increase in public safety during First Fridays in downtown Albuquerque.

To measure the impact, a coordinated effort between local nonprofit organization Two Way Street, the Downtown Public Safety District, and the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion assessed how crime rates have changed between 2017 and 2018.

When comparing police reports and calls for service in the downtown area (Broadway to 8th and Tijeras to Coal) between the months of March and September in 2017 to those same times in 2018, APD determined that there was an overall decrease in the volume of calls for service in this area. APD specifically looked at the number of calls for service that occurred from 5pm to 2am on the first Fridays of these months.

The Albuquerque Police Department findings were as follows:

  • Calls to the police are down 24%
  • Calls to police citing disturbances are down 16%
  • Reports of violent crime (including homicide, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery) are down 50%
  • There were no reports of auto theft/drug paraphernalia possession during First Fridays in 2018

“We’re encouraged to see the strong impact on public safety that we have been able to have through our focused work to amplify events like ArtWalk together with the Engage program's successes in filling vacant spaces and adding light and eyes on the street. To keep this trend going, we’re continuing to support activities that get more folks out into downtown Albuquerque and beyond in the coming year.” said Mayor Tim Keller.

“We are successfully fighting crime when we engage with communities to come up with solutions that keep people safe,” APD Chief Mike Geier said. “That’s exactly how we’re going to turn around downtown and other parts of our city. Our officers are not just policing; they are part of the community, and they are invested in its success.”

“Two Way Street has always operated under the premise that promoting street commerce not only helps diversify our local economy, but that it also brings eyes to the street, cultivates community policing, contributes to placemaking, and increases overall quality of life,” said the Two Way Street’s Editorial Team.

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About One Albuquerque: Engage:

The Engage project is a monthly initiative to boost the local economy and promote public safety downtown by adding light and vibrancy to the Central corridor and filling vacant buildings with temporary, pop-up style art exhibits, performances, and shopping experiences. The aim is to show the potential of vacant spaces to businesses who might rent them while providing resources and support to artists and entrepreneurs who could not otherwise afford a storefront.

The Engage program supports existing programming that has occurred in downtown on “First Fridays” since 2017 through partner organizations like Two Way Street, ABQ ARTWalk, ARTS Crawl ABQ, Downtown Mainstreet, Enchanted Pop Up and Mariposa Music.

To sign up for a pop-up business license and find out more about One Albuquerque: Engage, please visit http://www.cabq.gov/engage