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Albuquerque: A Lawless City

Albuquerque: A Lawless City

There's only one issue in the 2017 mayoral race — the lawlessness that has beset the city, and the continuing destruction of its police force.


Forget about the economy. Forget about that sick leave ordinance. Forget about ART.

There is only one issue in the 2017 race for mayor of Albuquerque the lawlessness that has beset the city and the continuing destruction of its police force. The crime wave here is jarring, relentless and long ago scotched any hopes for major economic development in the foreseeable future. The latest:

“More than 27 vehicles a day. More than 10,000 for the year. That’s how many vehicles were reported stolen from Albuquerque and neighboring counties in 2016, according to a recent report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The bureau reported the Albuquerque area had the highest per-capita rate of auto thefts in the country.”

Worst in the nation for auto theft and the city in second place isn’t even close! The shock is that the citizenry is still not yelling from their rooftops over the colossal failure and incompetence of the city’s leadership. Not to mention their failure to reign in the thieves, murderers, drag racers and meth heads that have made the city something akin to a dusty border town, with a corrupt police department and a puppet mayor and city council.

The soaring murder rate, the auto theft epidemic, the freeways run amok, the constant break-ins at area businesses and homes, and the widespread vandalism have given this city a damnable reputation.

The blame is everywhere but still there is no accountability for:

The mayoral administration of Richard Berry and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry presiding over the mayhem while evading responsibility for the disintegration of law and order.

The police department led by the ineffectual Gorden Eden and cordoned off by an upper command staff at war with its own citizenry and stifling accountability to the bitter end.

The flaccid, fearful and forlorn nine-member city council where no one has stepped forward to lead the way out of this jungle, even as the mayor has abdicated.

The see-no-evil business community represented by the Economic Forum, the ABQ Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP and the like, which join with the agenda-driven newspaper to prop up the Republican mayor no matter the cost to the welfare of this once on-the-go metropolis.

News reporter Dan Rather recently opined over the bizarre politics in DC: “We are failing to be outraged by the outrageous.” That could be the bumper sticker for the current state of politics in our state’s largest city. It’s as if everyone is overdosing on Xanax.

In about 90 days early voting will get underway in the ABQ mayoral election. It will be our last, best chance to turn this city around, but only if the candidates are subjected to the accountability that we have so maddeningly allowed to elude those currently in power.


In the wake of the news that we are the stolen car capital of the U.S., a Facebook comment by James Uberman scolding the media stood out:

“This is reporting?? Where are all these cars going. This is not a few individuals, this is an industrial operation. Are the Mexican Cartels involved? Notice the #2 city is just up I-25. There is a major organized crime ring behind this but no reporting on that.”

Good question, James. Maybe the media, along with the district attorney, mayor and police chief might want to start asking the same?

The relationship between APD and the oversight panels watching over the agency continues to plummet to new lows with police stonewalling the order of the day. And APD’s war room mentality now extends to the media. Take a look:

“An important editor’s note: Ordinarily, KOB would reach out to APD for comment on this sort of story prior to a newscast, or prior to publishing on KOB.com. However, in recent months, that courtesy has resulted in KOB content being distributed to other news outlets by the Albuquerque Police Department. To maintain the integrity of our content, our management has decided to reach out to APD for comment at the first opportunity on Saturday. We will share the department’s response with you then.”

What in the name of Harry Kinney is going on in this town? If any of the eight mayoral candidates refuse to oust the current chief and APD command staff, they ought to be taken to Old Town Plaza so spectators can throw leftover enchiladas at them.

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

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  • Jennifer Martinez
    June 14, 2017, 4:12 pm

    The only thing you forgot to mention are all the heroin addicts.

  • Sara Wall
    June 14, 2017, 10:41 pm

    No. The only thing not mentioned is solutions. If all you do is whine, you’re part of the problem.

  • John Mackendry
    June 15, 2017, 10:57 am

    This city has more property thefts than any place I have lived.my car was stolen fully locked in front of Walmart, at 11am on a Saturday morning . This the 2nd car theft I have been victim of a few yrs .
    My Marin mt bike was stolen 20 ft from a security camera at UNM.
    I have had my home broken into so many times I lost count
    bars on,all the windows and extra locks do no good . The thief’s & crooks have made this city a haven for thieves.

  • Pat
    June 15, 2017, 11:36 am

    The drug problem in the city is the problem. We don’t have the help for teenagers that aren’t on welfare If they have private insurance no one wants to help these kids. Then they grow up to adults and then it’s too late

  • Mark
    June 15, 2017, 12:40 pm

    You put drag racing in your list, but left out drink driving?

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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