ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Crime and homeless were two big topics on Saturday at Albuquerque’s State of the City Address. It was hosted at Albuquerque’s Railyards.
This year’s State of the City Address focused on crime and safety. Mayor Tim Keller mentioned different strategies to fight crime in the city are working.
Since 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has been under the watch of the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a settlement agreement to reform the department. APD has to reach a 95% operational compliance level, and they are currently at 92%. The mayor added the city is moving into the final stages of this decades-long journey.
“Violent crime is down 8%. Property crime is down 40%; 170 murder suspects have been taken off our streets in the last 17 months. APD is catching more violent offenders than they ever have,” said Mayor Keller.
According to the mayor, the Metro Crime Initiative, an increase in police salary, and investment in technology for police are helping the city tackle crime. As of now, homicides in the city are down. According to the city’s website, as of last week, there have been 32 homicides in Albuquerque compared to 44 last year at this same time.
Another focus of the address was homelessness. The mayor said the city is looking at the housing crisis by updating zoning restrictions.
Mayor Keller stated, “It’s time to convert run-down hotels into housing, and we’re getting started. In fact, we have our first hotel conversion going on right now; 100 units are going to be ready in months.”
Along with low-income units, the Gateway Center is also set to be used for the homeless when renovations are complete.
To close out, the mayor made a big promise to those who call Duke City home.
“We are going to make this city the best place in America for families. This city we are building together. That is the promise of Albuquerque New Mexico,” said Mayor Keller.