It's a fact that Albuquerque has a crime problem. We're not talking about dastardly Dodges running read lights, or cell phone addicts. We're talking about violent crime.
Just last year an analysis by the Albuquerque Journal revealed that Albuquerque ranked in the top 13% for property crime (ABQ Journal - Subscription). When asked about the Journal's findings Chief Schultz replied "I feel safe" and went on to blame all of us for reporting crime too often (read our take here).
Our Eyes behind the badge told us last year that the real problem with high property crime rates is that they're a leading indicator of violent crime. Sure enough, just one year later according to the FBI's Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, Albuquerque has seen an across the board increase in violent crime over last year. Murder alone is up a whopping 38%.
It's easy to target Chief Schultz when he's busy making idiotic statements and make no mistake the Chief and his boss The Almighty Alcalde bear quite a bit of the responsibility. But there is another elected official that should also shoulder their portion of the blame - 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.
We told you about Ms. Torraco's entry into the race back in February (read it here), but we really hadn't heard much about the race until our Eyes told us about an unscientific poll being run over at the Albuquerque Police Officers Association website. The poll simply asks, "[w]ho would you support for the District Attorney in the upcoming election?" To our surprise, Ms. Torraco beat out the incumbent by a margin of almost 3 to 1 (Brandenburg 25.89%, Torracco 70.54%, Other 3.57%).
Granted, this is an unscientific poll but you've got to take into account who visits this website on a regular basis. It seems that the men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department - the rank and file - are sending a loud and clear message that it's time we did something about crime in this city. After all these are the people that deal with the DA's office on a regular basis. These are the officers who see their cases plead down or dropped. These are the officers who've become frustrated that no matter how hard they work, criminals are sent back into the community where they continue to endanger the people that the officers are sworn to protect. For that reason and that reason alone, this poll means something.
As frustrated as we are with the 5th Floor and The Almighty Alcalde, they are just part of this problem - a part that we as voters cannot do anything about until next year. However, there is a DA's race this year and it's a race against crime.
The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes