ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – So far this year, homicides in the metro are down by 22%, and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is hoping to keep it that way.
APD Police Chief Harold Medina said there are multiple factors leading to the decrease in homicides, but the main contributor is more criminals staying behind bars.
“I think there are a lot of things we can attribute to that. I think it’s a combination of various activities that the police department has conducted but also changes in other parts of the criminal justice system,” said Medina.
Last year around this time, Albuquerque saw 105 homicides compared to 82 so far this year.
“We’ve arrested 44 people from homicides related to this year, 22 from last year, and over the past two years, we’ve taken into custody 217 individuals and charged them with homicide,” said Medina.
While Medina believes the low numbers could be attributed to multiple reasons, one sticks out.
“The vast majority of those have remained behind bars, and that’s 217 criminals that were involved in other activities generally prior to their homicides that are no longer in the streets,” said Medina.
Most months have seen half of the number of homicides from the previous year.
“The month we struggled the most with was April. We were doing really well going into April, [but] we got a little concerned during April because of the fact that we had 12 compared to 6 the year before,” said Medina.
APD is hoping to stay on track and not let the holiday months take a turn for the worse.
“We are getting better at knowing that there are certain times of year when things are going to kick up,” said Medina.
The department is currently preparing for Halloween.
“They will have resources out Halloween weekend. Whey will be out to break up those parties earlier and that we will be doing everything we can to ensure that we reduce the possibilities of shootings,” said Medina, hoping to move the city in the right direction.
“I think just the number of people we’ve arrested that fact that there are consequences and criminals know it is starting to have an impact,” said Medina.
We should also point out that larger issues may also be at work. Murders are down 9% across 30 major cities including Denver, Los Angeles, and New York, that’s according to the non-partisan Council on Criminal Justice.