APD Officer Shortage Worsens
By Dan Klein
-- It means your wait for a police officer is going to continue to be long. It means more of your phone calls to dispatch will be diverted to telephone reports or you will be told you may wait hours before a uniform officer can go to your call. It means that the uniformed cops themselves are working with little back up, a very dangerous situation for everyone.
ABQREPORT has been keeping tabs on the number of sworn officers at APD. That number has dwindled from 998 at the end of March of 2021 to 940 as of July 24, 2021. Losing 58 officers in only four months should be setting off alarm bells all over Mayor Tim Keller’s city hall.
To put this into more context, in June APD announced the list for their uniform officer’s bid. These are the 911 call takers. These are the officers out there rescuing you seven days a week, 24 hours a day. On the date the first bid list was produced APD only had 376 officers on it (in our past column we incorrectly stated it as 364). This is a very low staffing number for a city our size with the crime we experience. Since June that number has been further reduced to only 363 officers, a reduction of 13 officers in just a month. APD continues to lose officers at an alarming rate.
What does this mean to you? It means your wait for a police officer is going to continue to be long. It means more of your phone calls to dispatch will be diverted to telephone reports or you will be told you may wait hours before a uniform officer can go to your call. It means that the uniformed cops themselves are working with little back up, a very dangerous situation for everyone.
APD spin doctors have put out a press release telling the public not to believe your lying eyes.
The press release praised the success of APD graduating a whopping 6 new lateral officers. It went on to say that APD will have 48 cadets graduate into sworn officers in late October. One problem with that, it’s three months away and a lot can happen in three months. Will we get all 48? Probably not, but APD doesn’t want you asking questions about the future.
On the July 24 payroll for the Albuquerque Police Department, there were 53 cadets listed, yet a week later APD is saying they will graduate 48 cadets in October? What happened to the other 5? You can’t count your chickens before they hatch, but that is all APD can do right now.
APD went on to state that they “expect” more than 100 lateral and cadets to start new police academy classes before the end of the year. Let me put that into perspective. I expect to win the Powerball Lottery this Saturday. Will it happen? Probably not, but hey, I can expect it can’t I?
To bail out Keller once again for his mismanagement of APD and crime-ridden city, Governor Grisham has once again promised 50 NMSP officers to patrol the city of Albuquerque for at least two months. Is it coincidence that this announcement comes just 90 days before the next mayoral election? No, it is the progressive wing of the Democratic party in New Mexico covering up the blunders of one of their favorite people, Tim Keller.
What should Albuquerque expect from the temporary, until the election is over, addition of 50 NMSP officers? If history tells us anything, not much. These officers will write tickets for 50 days, not be accountable to the DOJ consent decree (like APD cops are) and then not show up for court in the coming months because they will be back in Deming and Carlsbad. It’s all spin.
The only facts I can present to you is APD has lost almost 60 officers since March, fact. APD has 13 fewer 911 call takers, FACT. The additional NMSP officers are just spin, FACT. And Keller and Medina can “expect” 100 more officers this year, but the FACT is they don’t have any right now.