Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 12:29 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 10:16 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Are Albuquerque cops too quick to shoot? Or do people here do more things to get shot, compared to people in other cities?
In the wake of recent police shootings here, News 13 looked at other cities.
APD officers shot 14 people last year, killing nine, and they're on a pace to match that this year after Tuesday's shooting.
Is that unusually high for a city like ours? We took a look at the number of police shootings in similarly sized cities.
Sacramento has 490,000 residents; last year Sacramento police shot five people, killing two. Long Beach has 460,000 residents; officers there shot 10 people and killed two last year.
Tucson has 520,000 people; cops there only had one police shooting last year -- it was fatal. Denver has more than 600,000 people living there; police had just six shootings last year, three of them fatal.
New York City, which has 8,000,000 people (14 times bigger than Albuquerque) and 34,000 officers, had only 24 police shootings last year, eight of them fatal.
News 13 took the numbers to APD Chief Ray Schultz.
“Sometimes when you look at just raw data and numbers looking at cities, it's not always comparing apples to apples,” Schultz said.
He said his officers are put in more situations where they have to use deadly force than officers in other cities. But, he can't pinpoint why.
“There is nothing that these shootings really have in common with each other,” said Schultz. “I have heard people say, well, it's because of the quality of medical care. Well that has nothing to do with it. It's the individual circumstances.”
But there is one common factor he said, “The propensity for the person involved to have some type of mental health history or issue.”
He couldn't say if that's a bigger issue here in Albuquerque than it is in other cities.
Some cities have differing policies about how and when an officer can shoot. Sometimes they shoot to wound if possible, or only pull the trigger when the suspect is pointing the gun at someone.
APD officers can shoot if they feel the suspect is putting lives in danger, but Schultz doesn't think the broad policy has anything to do with the high number of shootings.
“I don't think the policies are having any impact at this point in time,” he said.
The chief said the Phoenix area is also seeing an increase in cop shootings with five this year. The Phoenix metro area has almost 4,000,000 people.
Albuquerque police have opened fire on three suspects this year, all were killed.