Mayor Keller, APD tout proactive approach to crime fighting

Photo by Ludella Awad/ NM NewsPort 

By Ludella Awad/ NM News Port

Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) highlighted the success of the Anti-Crime Operation, a crime-fighting initiative introduced last year that combines officers and detectives in multiple bureaus in an attempt to recover guns and make arrests. 

The Anti-Crime Operation combines the Field Services Bureau, Special Operations Bureau, and the Investigative Bureau. 

“We’ve shifted focus to consistent proactive policing,” Keller said. 

Keller said the department’s strategy includes hiring more officers to target repeat offenders and to recover weapons. 

Under the operation, APD has now arrested more than 1,000 people, seized more than 140 guns, and recovered 128 stolen vehicles over the past six months. 

Despite such crime initiatives, the city has seen 20 homicides investigations so far since the start of 2021many of them still unsolved.  

“I know homicides are the utmost concern and we want to point out that during these operations we have been able to take offenders from homicides into custody,” said Interim Police Chief Harold medina. “ Not only for homicides this current year but even for some from last year.” 

APD spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins said the Anti-Crime Operation initiative has “clearly” made an impact on crime in Albuquerque by recovering more weapons and arresting repeat offenders more than in years past. 

Atkins said APD had seized 1,769 firearms in 2019 and  that number grew to 2,148 in 2020

In a press conference on February 18, Keller highlighted the progress of the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) that combines law enforcement with social workers to address early intervention in youth gun violence.

Keller said since the launch of VIP, 110  have participated in the program which focuses on reducing violent crime through in-person communication with high-risk individuals. 

Mayor Keller and former Chief Mike Geier highlight the Metro 15 Operation, a proactive effort to attack violent crime by arresting repeat offenders. 

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Ludella Awad is a reporter for New Mexico News Port. She can be reached on Twitter @LudellaAwad or by email at nmnewsport@gmail.com