I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez, now an official candidate for reelection, joins the chorus on crime
With all three mayoral candidates officially declared as of yesterday, the issue of public safety — or, crime — is at the top of the list of talking points.
In an interview with KKOB 770 Friday, which Peter St. Cyr put up on his blog, Mayor Marty Chavez said that while violent crime is down, it’s still “unacceptably high.”
Meanwhile, mayoral hopeful Richard Romero issued a press release yesterday on the heels of Chavez’s official announcement saying that “people are concerned that crime is out of control.”
And last month, candidate Richard “R.J.” Berry targeted a 9 percent rise in property crime over the last year as a serious issue, saying the Chavez administration had failed to get crime under control.
Chavez is proposing adding another 100 officers to the police force over the next 18 months. Romero said last month that he would increase the percentage of current officers who patrol the streets, which he said is currently only 42 percent of the force. Berry said he’d make property crime a top priority, among other measures.
In an election year, it’s almost a truism that measures to tackle crime would be at the top of the political talking points. But crime data for Albuquerque is actually mixed — in some areas the city is doing better than it has in the past, but in others worse. Here is what I wrote last month when I looked into it:
Uniform crime statistics prepared by the FBI show a 7 percent decline in violent crime overall in Albuquerque between 2007 and 2008. Digging into the data, which is presented in the City’s FY 2010 budget on page 117, shows that from year-to-year, crime statistics fluctuate in Albuquerque, with spikes in various categories.
Some types of violent crime have seen an overall decline or don’t show a significant trend since 2004, such as aggravated assault, while others have skyrocketed, such as reported rapes.
When separated out into categories, property crimes have generally increased since 2004. The exception is larceny — or, shoplifting — which was on the way down until 2008 when it spiked. Auto theft has also been on the way down the last couple years, even though in 2008 there were still significantly more thefts than in 2004.