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Mayor Keller: APD Focusing on Tackling Crime that Affects Youth Community

Multi-faceted approach includes summer and after-school programs, increased social support and opportunities, as well as smart enforcement.

October 3, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller announced that over the summer, the Albuquerque Police Department has been developing a strategy to focus on interrupting the cycle of violent crime that affects youth in the community called Youth Violence Intervention. APD’s initiatives involve law enforcement, social service partners and community engagement to tackle crime trends that affect youth in Albuquerque.

Mayor Keller said, “Our teens have faced the threat of violence for too long. They are dealing with complex challenges like suicide, drugs, gangs and serious issues at home, all of which are made more dangerous by ready access to guns. To interrupt these cycles of violence, teens need to be able to trust law enforcement when they need them, as well as have safe places and opportunities to build their futures. This challenge is going to take all of us stepping up and taking responsibility in our homes and in our communities.”

So far this year, six young people have been murdered in Albuquerque. APD has been developing a program called Youth Violence Intervention that combats drivers of crime and builds strong ties between law enforcement the community to address issues like guns, gangs, domestic and intimate partner violence, and drugs.

“Sadly, we’re seeing trends like gun violence erupting at house parties. Our aim is to work hand-in-hand with young people and families in our community. Young people are dealing with extreme challenges. We need to drive down the violent crime that impacts youth while creating social supports at home, at school and in public. This approach differs from past approaches because it treats young people, and their parents, as needed partners in making our city safer. We’re also putting parents and other adults on notice that they will be held accountable for contributing to these incidents,” said Mayor Keller.

Another critical component of Youth Violence Intervention involves ensuring that youth are safe at home, have access to services that may be needed, as well as a variety of opportunities to grow their futures, such as:

  • Creating more opportunities for youth in all parts of Albuquerque. The City has invested in increasing youth programming and is seeing record-breaking participation in before-school, after-school and summer school programs, as well as Teen Nights and summer internship and jobs for teens. All of these programs keep our youth off of the streets and out of harm's way.
  • Stepping up to prevent child abuse and neglect by working with partners like CYFD.
  • Supporting diversion programs that give youth offenders a chance to restore their futures.
  • Hosting programs like Camp Fearless to build relationships between youth and first responders.
  • Providing suicide prevention and mental health first aid training across the City.

This program is not the same as APD’s former “Party Patrol.”

Chief Geier said, “To be clear, we are not bringing back the same ‘Party Patrol’ of the past that mainly targeted teen drinking, but rather working with the community on teen violence intervention.”

APD will be releasing more information on these efforts in the coming weeks, including community events where the public will be invited to learn more and provide input.