ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department created a new division to curb crime on city buses, but do riders think it will help? A KRQE investigation last year highlighted different instances of crime on city buses.

Albuquerque leaders have tried different ways to curb crime on public transit, some believing free fares played a part in the problem. However, councilors agreed to keep it for some buses, while also ramping up security. “There’s multiple people bringing on weapons, drugs, and there’s usually a little bit of fights,” said one bus rider, Travis.

As of this summer, a new division has been created within the Albuquerque Police Department to help fight crime on those city buses. APD recently opened up applications for Transit Safety Officers. The department will be working closely with ABQRide and Albuquerque Community Safety Department to help. Candidates selected for the position will go through APD’s Transit Safety Academy.

Riders have mixed reactions, some KRQE talked with on Sunday didn’t think having Transit Safety Officers on board would help with crime; others believe it could. “Definitely, because there’s really no respect for the security guards that they have on board,” Ernest, a frequent city bus rider.

APD will be hiring 23 Transit Safety Officers.