ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bolstering its downtown presence on Central Avenue, Albuquerque Police has formally opened a new downtown police station, called the “Downtown Public Safety Center.” City leaders commemorated the project Tuesday afternoon, while forecasting other changes to address downtown safety.

Called a “police station” by Mayor Tim Keller, the new public safety office space sits in the Rosenwald Building on the corner of 4th and Central. While APD also has office space at the Alvarado bus and train station on First Street, and headquarters at 4th and Roma, the new downtown station gives APD its first brick and mortar presence on Central in the downtown core.

According to APD, the new location is more prominent “for businesses and visitors of Downtown to connect and build relationships with the Downtown officers” and increase safety at large. The station is being named after Don Perkins, the late Albuquerque community leader, UNM Lobo and Dallas Cowboys great.

In late April, APD Chief Harold Medina said the department’s goal was to get to a 24-7 presence downtown. The department is expected to pay around $25,000 a year in rent at the privately owned building.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Mayor Tim Keller forecasted other changes to the city’s downtown safety plan. Keller says the city will soon invest another $1-million in lights and cameras downtown and focus on the parking lots at 3rd and 6th along Central.

The parking lots, Mayor Keller says, are helping drive violent crime downtown. He says the city will focus on putting those parking lots in a program that could help change access or use of those lots. In August, one of those lots along Central was the site of a murder.