The plan calls for all officers to take calls, keeping APD's substations open 24 hours and hiring at least 300 more officers.
Saying that crime is “absolutely out of control” in the city, mayoral candidate Tim Keller on Tuesday released a nine-page crime-fighting plan that he said will start attacking crime from his first day in office.
The plan (which we’ve posted in its entirety below) calls for all police officers, including the chief of police, to take calls for service, keeping APD’s substations open 24 hours a day and hiring at least 300 more officers.
The plan also calls for hiring a new police chief and leadership team, as well as a civilian director of public safety to oversee the police depart. The new management team would include “leaders with proven track records of turning around troubled jurisdictions and who have a dedicated commitment to the full notion of community policing,” Keller said at a news conference to announce his anti-crime plan.
“The new leadership team will also make a distinct turn away from the defensive, bunker mentality that has been a hallmark in recent years,” Keller’s plan said.
“The first thing we need to do is deal with these things head on,” Keller said. “What we have seen over the past few years is a litany of excuses when it actually comes to dealing with crime in our city.
“Whether it’s blaming Santa Fe for not having enough legislation, blaming judges, blaming where we live and the fact that we’re in the Southwest and we’re near the border. Every single time there is a major issue there is another excuse other than the one comment that should mater: this is the mayor’s responsibility. It’s the mayor’s job to address crime in Albuquerque.”
Keller’s plan focuses on six main topics: leadership, structure and accountability; immediate action to reduce crime; ending APD’s chronic officer shortage; supporting police officers in the field; ending the generational cycle of crime; and fighting substance abuse and homelessness.
Keller said APD’s new leadership team would work to quickly get the department into compliance with the settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The money saved on legal and consulting fees would go to hiring new officers, Keller said.
The plan also calls for a 911 diversion effort to ensure that a social worker and a paramedic — and not police officers and firefighters — respond to calls of homeless or addiction, and a system where cops have specific area to patrol.
“We are also going to get back to basics, having a jurisdiction and area where a police officer is familiar with. And they are going to get as many hours as possible to bike, or walk or drive those streets,” Keller said.
Here’s what Keller’s plan includes in regards to taking immediate action against crime:
— Publish daily weekly performance objectives for APD personnel, although the objectives will not be a quota system.
— Pool overtime funds for officers to do saturation patrols in high-crime areas.
— Ensure that all detectives “engage in officer initiated encounters at least one day during their weekly work schedule.”
— Have weekly, in-person meetings with the police chief and area commanders to review data of the previous week.
— Work with the district attorney and judges to identify the 100 top repeat criminal offenders and find ways to keep them behind bars.
— Fight auto theft by holding chop shops and pawn shops accountable through the city’s permitting and inspection process.
Keller also said that the police department would enforce quality of life ordinances regarding litter, public defecation, intoxication and vandalism. “By enforcing what some would consider minor laws, police can establish a proactive presence in troubled neighborhoods to send a signal to criminals to get out of the area,” Keller’s plan said.
And Keller said he would “add teeth” to the civilian police oversight process “when it comes to making policy recommendations for training, resource allocation, review, academy curriculum, and recruiting and promotional practices.”
Keller also said that his administration would support officers and bring fairness back into promotion and disciplinary policies.
“We are going to stick up for our front line officers,” Keller said. “We are going to provide real backup for them on the street, and I will stand up for them when it comes to fairness and consistency when it comes to promotions and discipline.”
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