ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department’s chief of police recently met with other leaders from departments across the country to talk about challenges they’re facing, like police shootings, crime trends, and staffing shortages.
Chief Harold Medina said many crimes seen in Albuquerque are also happening across the country. When asked about the concern of Albuquerque’s high crime per capita – Chief Medina said it’s hard to compare data because not all police departments use the same method of reporting.
Chief Medina shared, “In the past, we used one system and now we’re using a new system and not everybody is using the same system. And in the past, the past system only captured the most prevalent crime that was being reported. The new system catches every crime that was committed.”
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APD uses the National Incident-Based Reporting System – which means if there’s a homicide that started as a carjacking both those crimes are reported – not just the most serious crime.
At the conference held in Dallas last week, Chief Medina said two of the biggest problems facing departments across the country are crime and homelessness. He said despite APD’s shortage of personnel – officers are still trying to enforce ordinances and address trespassing. According to Medina, just this week 100 misdemeanor citations for trespassing were issued.
Chief Medina said he’s looking to use some ideas from the conference that were shared behind recruiting, retention, and training of officers. “Sacramento is actually getting people to start at pre-academy, and they go through some of the steps of training. We’ve already looked into that, and we’re going to be trying to roll that out because they say it helps their cadets succeed in PT once the actual academy starts,” said Medina.
Another challenge APD is looking to tackle is the number of false 911 calls about shots being fired at schools. Medina said this is a trend happening in a lot of cities. Currently, APD is working with Albuquerque Public Schools on how they can educate parents and students about the waste of resources when those calls are made.
This year APD has recorded 105 murders so far – at this point last year we were at 91.