ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police said they’re trying to take on a bigger role when it comes to community policing in hopes of decreasing the high rate of crime in town. They’re doing it by focusing on a few areas of the city they said are the most troubled.

“Homeless people walking around, gunshots and just a lot of trash thrown around and stuff like that,” said South Valley local Savanna Suazo.

KRQE News 13 spoke with people from different parts of the city, and for the most part, they all agreed they see their fair share of problems in their neighborhoods.

To turn things around, Albuquerque police are trying to do more community-based policing in certain areas.

“The study basically found what areas historically had some of the biggest drivers in crime,” said APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina.

They looked at their data from 2018 to mid-2019 and mapped out five high-volume problem places, listing sections from the International District, downtown, southeast Central, North Candelaria and the South Valley. APD then assigned officers to specifically focus on those parts.

“So what we’re trying to do is to get our officers to balance the needs and relationships with the community with heavy enforcement and taking the right individuals into custody that are driving crime in a certain segment in the community,” said the Deputy Chief.

It looks like it’s paying off, comparing a variety of crimes in all five-focus areas. Sex crimes, violent crimes and property crimes have all dropped.

“I’ve noticed when I bring my kids to school there’s a cop parked right out here watching,” said Suazo.

People who KRQE News 13 talked to said they’ve noticed a higher police presence, which is a welcomed sight.

“I feel that it’s really good for the community,” said downtown local Adriana Quintana. “I also feel it will make me and my daughter safer, of course.”

“We know the long term solution to solving crime is building a healthy community and strengthening the community itself,” said the Deputy Chief.

As far as homicide rates, some areas of the city saw them go up, others went down.

The area that saw the most improvement from last year to this year so far has been the International District with a 31 percent drop in crime.

READ MORE: APD’s Priority Objectives Fiscal Year 2019

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