City of Albuquerque discusses police department budget

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is discussing the police department’s budget and possibly reallocating funds to invest in the community. On Tuesday, the Committee of the Whole met virtually to discuss the issue.

For the 2020 fiscal year, the Albuquerque Police Department received about $205 million of the city’s $1.1 billion budget. Tuesday’s meeting started with public comment where most people asked that number be lowered.

“APD Forward believes that cutting the Albuquerque Police Department budgets and investing those savings into community programs that increases public safety and heals communities that are harmed by over-policing is the right direction to go,” a member of APD Forward commented.

The meeting mostly consisted of reviewing data of APD over the past few years. It included looking at how many officers are out in the field and where they are around town.

It also looked at vacancies within the department, which currently add up to over $3 million in salary savings. City Council President Pat Davis commented on the data shown.

“When I look at the budget, I see opportunities to lower those numbers of those types of calls like we’ve done with COVID-19 response, not going to noninjury accidents, for example, criminal trespassing and shoplifting calls…I think all those are good,” he said. “If we can limit what we’re assigning to APD and use this budget process to identify those roles where that’s not necessary, then I’ll think we’ll be in a much better position to help your officers free up more time during the day.”

So far, data shows the department has spent about $7 million in overtime already in 2020. Recently Davis conducted a survey where community members weighed in on changes they’d like to see in APD.

He said in the past that he plans to also use that data in these meetings discussing APD’s budget. The Committee of the Whole is expected to meet a couple more times to continue discussing the department’s budget.

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