After the murder of UNM baseball player Jackson Weller, a promised surge in police forces is being noticed in Albuquerque.
New Mexico State Police just started upping its patrols Friday with plans to add a total of 50 officers to the city soon.
While NMSP has only said their focus will be Nob Hill, southeast and southwest Albuquerque, it’s clear that officers are putting a big focus on Central Avenue, based on what some are seeing.
“Our guys are out there, they’re making traffic stops, they’re making contacts with the general public, making arrests, taking bad guys off the street,” said Lt. Mark Soriano of the New Mexico State Police.
The additional officer surge is on top of the roughly 40 officers that already work for NMSP in the Albuquerque-area.
Along with seeing more State Police cars driving up and down Central, some are noticing the additional traffic stops the agency is taking part in.
UNM Police tweeted a photo Tuesday showing an NMSP officer helping a UNM PD officer with a car pulled over near UNM.
“People are going to be receiving citations, people are going to be going to jail,” said Lt. Soriano.
In Nob Hill, Astro-Zombies Comics store manager Chris Losack says he’s seen the extra officers too.
“Absolutely, the presence has increased, and I have seen less unsavory type in the area, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to stop,” said Losack.
Losack feels the presence is going to be needed for a while for a true change to start taking shape.
“The city needs to be steadfast and continue this if they want to make a difference,” said Losack.
KRQE News 13 also received an email Wednesday from a person claiming to be a city bus driver, praising the State Police for their increased presence.
The email read, “city bus drivers want to thank all the State Police officers patrolling Central Ave. Tuesday night! Our jobs felt safe, wish we could keep Central like this always.”
A spokesman for the city’s bus service ABQ Ride said Wednesday they hadn’t heard any feedback from drivers so far about the additional State Police presence.
New Mexico State Police haven’t said how long this officer surge will last but say they’ll be reassessing their saturation patrols again at some point.