ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department on Friday held an open house at the University Area Command that operates out of a University of New Mexico-owned building near the city’s various sports stadiums.

Members of the public were invited to tour the command, located at Bradbury Drive SE off of Avenida Cesar Chavez, and meet the officers who are based there. Ray Del Greco, acting deputy commander for the University Area Command, said just under 50 officers are employed there.

“We have about a 30 square mile area of land that we are responsible for and that encompasses again the area here with Isotopes Park, UNM football stadium, The Pit down to Mesa Del Sol, to UNM main campus, to CNM main campus, all the way to the area of San Mateo and Central,” said Del Greco. Nob Hill is also located within the command area.

The University Area Command was created as a result of a split of the previous Southeast Area Command. Mayor Tim Keller previously acknowledged that Southeast Area Command was too big and had the highest crime rates. He believed smaller area commands would provide a “more focused, community-driven, intensive ability to keep people safe” in neighborhoods.

“We wanted an area that was centrally located, that wasn’t necessary on the central corridor, so the officers had the ability to move freely throughout the city, throughout the area command. So this was a location that was selected by the administration and it’s been working really really well so far,” Del Greco explained.

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APD’s Proactive Response Team for the southeast is also stationed at the University Area Command Substation. Chief Harold Medina previously said the unit would focus on going after suspects with warrants. The team also conducts proactive enforcement in crime areas, community engagement and outreach, according to the city’s website.

The University Area Command opened earlier this year as part of a pilot program. After a year, the department will assess to determine if the new area command should become a permanent fixture in Albuquerque. Del Greco said the command’s impact on lowering the crime rate will be a factor in the decision.