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Denounce crime in all ABQ neighborhoods, not just the Northeast Heights

- If the most recent victim wasn’t a Sandia High School student murdered in what neighbors called a “perfect” neighborhood, would City Councilor Brad Winter be demanding that APD bring back the party patrol?

I just watched Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter on KOB-TV saying that he wants to bring back the Albuquerque Police Party Patrol. It’s a good idea, but one must question the timing.

Winter is quoted as saying, “All of the past shootings that have involved youth, it’s just unacceptable and we’ve got to do everything we can to help stop that … when it started in 2000 it really made a difference.”

Councilor Winter why did Albuquerque stop the party patrol?

Councilor Winter, of all the past shootings, why now do you want to act, why not a year, two years, three years ago?

Let me just piss off everyone right now. If the most recent victim wasn’t a Sandia High School student murdered in what neighbors called a “perfect” neighborhood, would Winter be demanding that APD bring back the party patrol? Past inactions speak very loudly.

You only need to visit the Albuquerque Journal website and type in “Albuquerque homicides map” to see the carnage over the last three years. Several of those murders were related to parties, but I don’t recall any city councilor (or mayor or police chief) demanding specific action to combat parties. So why now? Are some victims and neighborhoods more special than others?

Look at these homicide maps and what you will see is most murders (since 2017) in Albuquerque did not occur in the far northeast heights. The murder maps bleed blue and red (indicating solved and unsolved) south of I-40 and west of I-25. So why does Councilor Winter care so much now, but not so much before? Aren’t the citizens and children living west of I-25 and south of I-40 just as important as those living east and north?

Why did it take a senseless murder of a Sandia High School student in a far northeast heights neighborhood to awaken Winter? Why haven’t we heard from the other city councilors, the mayor and the police chief? Where is our city government?

At least Winter cares, even if he is late to the party. Not a peep or a plan from Mayor Keller, Chief Geier and the other city councilors. Their silence is deafening and killing.

Following the five murders and six injured on September 12, 2019, Mayor Keller did issue a statement, “We are fed up with the violence, gang and addiction issues gripping parts of our city and I am determined to keep fighting against violence in our city ...”

I didn’t see any city councilor, the police chief or the mayor quickly coming forward with a plan after four were murdered at Bridge and Goff. Those four were humans, just as important as anyone else who lives anywhere else in Albuquerque. Two were kids, ages 16 and 17, another was 36 and the fourth was a grandmother, 76 years old. But they lived in a south valley trailer court, to some maybe a not so perfect neighborhood.

Many in Albuquerque have told me that our elected leaders will do nothing to stop the crime epidemic until it violently reaches into the safety zone of the conservative far northeast heights. Sadly, it has happened, and it only took 48 hours for a city councilor to demand action.

The truth is, not everyone is viewed equally by our city government and by our ourselves. Albuquerque has come to expect crime in the southeast heights, the valleys and southwest mesa but not the far northeast heights.

Albuquerque is paying a high price for this elitism.

By not equally protecting those “other” neighborhoods and those “other” citizens, violence has spread like a cancer to the “perfect” neighborhoods in the far northeast heights. Welcome to Albuquerque’s crime epidemic. Because we didn’t stop it in poorer neighborhoods it spread like cancer across the entire city.

Albuquerque must attack crime, fairly and equally, in all parts of our city, or none of our city will be worth living in.

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Independent Journalism

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