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Mayor Keller, City Councilors Highlight Community Policing to Fight Crime in SW Albuquerque

“Problem Response Team” part of new West Central Safety Corridor.

February 12, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller joined City Council President Klarissa Peña and Councilor Ken Sanchez to highlight a new community policing initiative that has cut emergency police calls in half in a key southwest business corridor.

The Albuquerque Police Department created a new Problem Response Team with dedicated officers to implement community policing and outreach. The first team, which includes a Sergeant and two officers, identified the West Central business corridor, around Central and Coors, as an area in Southwest Albuquerque with the highest number of calls to police.

The team is committed to working with neighborhood and business leaders to address crime that is specific to the area. That partnership led to the creation of a new West Central Safety Corridor.

“Although it is way too early to speak definitively about the impact of this program, we are encouraged by what we see during the first month of operations,” Mayor Keller said. “Compared to the same month last year, the problem response team began to shift the dynamic from constantly responding to emergencies, to a more proactive, community-oriented approach.”

The Problem Response Teams will be implemented in each of APD’s six Area Commands.

“A true community policing model,” Councilor Peña said. “The West Central Community Development Group, the business owners and managers along west Central and APD are partnering to create a thriving and safe commercial area for patrons.”

“As a business owner on the Central Corridor, I understand firsthand the challenges that businesses have faced,” said Councilor Sanchez. “Police Officers working closely with the community to provide the business owners, employees, and patrons help to address many of the issues they are experiencing, is key to a prosperous area.”

During its first month, the Problem Response Team made contact with nearly every business along the West Central business corridor. As a result of the proactive, community policing:

  • In January 2018 there were 132 Calls for Service at Coors and Central. Of those, 95% were calls to 911 or 242-COPS.
  • In January 2019 there were 115 Calls for Service at Coors and Central. Of those, only 50% were calls to 911 or 242-COPS.
  • The other half were self-initiated by the new PRT officers who were proactively patrolling and visiting businesses.

“This partnership only works when police and the community are working together,” Sergeant Larry Middleton said. “I am thankful for the support we’ve received because it helps us do our job and keep this community safe.”