ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller gave his state of the city address at the Railyards Saturday afternoon. This was the first in-person state of the city address in nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the mayor’s address, he tackled a number of things; crime, homelessness, and addiction as well as other areas like job growth.
One of the biggest subjects of discussion was crime. Keller admitted crime is up and says they’ve dedicated $50 million towards crime-fighting technology. Since the beginning of the year, APD has made 1,800 felony arrests, nearly 60 of those arrests, are homicide suspects.
“Never in my 25 years in law enforcement can I recall a moment when so many homicide cases were closed in our city,” said Chief Harold Medina. The city will soon be suspending a quarter of the DOJ agreement – which has been in place since 2014.
“This was a process where we had been backsliding and for years our city was stuck month after month without forward motion. We were weighed down by bureaucracy and weighed down by low morale. Now we are committed to reform. But we are committed to reform at a much faster pace,” said Mayor Keller.
Another focus was homelessness, Keller calling on the city to approve the zoning change for the Gateway Center, saying in order to get people off the streets, they need places to go. “We don’t have to start from scratch. We can convert old hotels into apartments, and we can continue our investments in affordable housing,” Keller said.
Keller ended on a lighter note emphasizing the push to develop downtown. “This is about making a landmark for the future of Albuquerque,” he said.