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Candidates To Release Crime Plans

Candidates To Release Crime Plans

“I don't care who uses information – Democrat, Republican or Martian. At least it's something and it's what citizens need and want to make an educated decision,” Dennis Maez said.

Two mayoral candidates are releasing their plans to attack Albuquerque’s crime epidemic.

On Monday, candidate Ricardo Chaves released what he said was his anti-crime plan, and candidate Brian Colón said he’ll unveil his plan on Tuesday. Colón had planned last week to release his public safety proposal this week.

Last week, ABQ Free Press published a detailed anti-crime and APD reform plan from Dennis Maez, a former APD officer and retired U.S. Secret Service agent.

Maez offered his proposal after reading that one mayoral candidate, Michelle Garcia Holmes, said she had a crime-fighting plan but was afraid to release it because she thought other candidates would steal it. Considering that Albuquerque is in the midst of a crime wave, that we’re now the auto theft capital of the nation, and that there are less than 90 days before the election, ABQ Free Press thought Garcia Holmes’ statement was more than a little strange.

So Maez offered his proposal to all eight of the mayoral candidates and basically begged them to steal it, and we published it.

Maez said he doesn’t care who uses parts of his proposal, just as long as candidates have detailed plans.

“I don’t care who uses information – Democrat, Republican or Martian. At least it’s something and it’s what citizens need and want to make an educated decision,” Maez said.

Chaves’ plan

Chavez released his “plan to fight crime” in an email Monday. Here’s what it said:

Since launching my campaign to become Albuquerque’s mayor, I have repeatedly made my positions on the police department clear in my public statements.

The crime wave in Albuquerque is unacceptable. It’s contributed to a downward spiral in our economy, causing many to leave the city for safer places. Our citizens are afraid in their own homes, and the mayor, city council and police chief seem unable to act.

We’re facing a crisis of leadership and training in the police department. The Department of Justice investigation and $60 million in lawsuits illustrate this fact.

Vowing to throw money at the police department or saying “let’s just hire 400 officers” isn’t a plan, it’s a cop out.

Hiring a new police chief is the first step required to restore leadership and build morale. Only then will we be able to attract the officers that will bring the APD to the proper level of staffing required to fight crime effectively.

While I will not tie the hands of the next police chief by spelling out everything he or she must do to fight crime, I have some general principles that will guide my administration’s approach:

I will fully fund the police department, giving our brave men and women on the front lines what they need to do their jobs well.

I am the only candidate who has called for a search for fresh face from outside the APD with a proven history of turning around police departments.

I will insist on a thorough review of the department’s command structure, to make appropriate staffing changes there, as well.

Our 9-1-1 system and 242-COPS tip line must work effectively, so that no one is ever put on hold and every citizen can report crime quickly, every time.

As a good steward of our tax dollars, I will insist that any waste, duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy be eliminated from the APD’s budget, so it can go to officers on the beat fighting crime, processing evidence and promoting proven crime prevention efforts.

This is a CLEAR PLAN that will attract the officers we need and help save Albuquerque from this epidemic of crime.” – Ricardo Chaves, candidate for mayor of Albuquerque.

Brian Colón

Colón’s campaign issued this statement about the announcement he’ll make Tuesday:

Brian Colón’s mayoral campaign is holding an event to discuss his campaign’s crime prevention policy on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 9:30 AM. Colón plans to unveil his campaign’s policy at an event hosted at Pita Pit, 2106 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. 

Crime reduction is undoubtedly a priority to Albuquerque residents, and Mr. Colón has made the issue the central point in his mayoral campaign. He is committed to making Albuquerque a Safe and Smart City.

Mr. Colón’s campaign will host a roundtable with community stakeholders to detail his focus on public safety. He will be joined by retired APD Commander Levi Anaya and the following business owners: Tahir Gauba of Donut Mart, Gabriel Amador of Amore Pizzeria, Leticia Bernal of Central Avenue’s Pita Pit and Free Range owner, Joseph Pitluck. These University-area and Nob Hill businesses have all been subject to armed robbery, break-ins, broken windows and attempted carjackings.

ABQ Free Press will keep you posted whether any other candidates release their public safety plans.

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

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