ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the temperatures rise, so does the crime. It’s a trend the Albuquerque Police Department says it sees every year, and teens play a part in it.
APD says it’s like clockwork. Students get out of school, the weather heats up and crimes are on the rise again. They say information from their crime analysis unit shows an increase in shootings, stabbings and burglaries during the summer months.
While kids are only behind a fraction of the crimes, APD says they’re a part of the problem.
“The kids are out of school so there’s a lot more down time to get into mischievous activity. It’s a lot warmer outside, obviously, which drives people to be outside and be outside longer,” said Officer Tanner Tixier.
Just last year, six people were wounded and one killed at Los Altos Skate Park, a bartender was shot and killed in his own driveway when he confronted a group of teens breaking into his car, and a 14-year-old was killed and two others injured in a shooting at Pat Hurley Park.
They’re hoping to cut down on some of the crime by setting up mobile surveillance cameras in parks around the city.
“Their main purpose is to serve as a deterrent. Most people won’t engage in criminal behavior if they realize there’s a very good opportunity they will be caught on camera,” said Tixier.
They say the cameras can be moved anywhere depending on where the crimes occur or based on citizen concerns.
Residents we spoke to say these cameras give them a sense of security.
“A lot more people will come out with their kids and everything and spend more time at the parks if there were less drugs and stuff going on. If there’s less people there at the parks being watched they’re not going to want to come to the parks anymore knowing there being watched,” said Renee Zamora of Edgewood.
Police are also spending time this summer visiting neighborhoods to encourage people to be aware of their surroundings and to get more neighborhood watch programs up and running.
Plus, with school out, resource officers are also helping out.
“We can call them in and say ‘Hey, listen, we are out with some of your students.’ They can help us mediate some issues if they don’t think it’s an arrestable offense,” said Tixier.
Earlier this year, Mayor Richard Berry announced the city was hiring four security guards to check in on parks. They’re called the “Park Patrol.”