Chief's Overtime is a program that seems to benefit many. Theoretically, private businesses contract the Albuquerque Police Department to provide a security of sorts for their business or event. The business pays the City of Albuquerque $52.00 an hour for officers and even more for Sergeants and Lieutenants. The City obviously profits from this service, as it is well known that the Officers do not make near that amount. Some businesses, like Graham Central Station, rely on Chief's Overtime Officers to maintain a safe environment. In fact, the opening and continued operation of Graham Central Station was contingent on the employment of officers at their business.
Recently, the Chief of Police,Ray Schultz, ordered that ALL contracts with liquor establishments be immediately null and void and no longer honored. Scratch that, not ALL businesses, just those businesses that Chief Schultz ordered. For example, contracts with Tumbleweeds and Graham Central Station are no longer honored, however Chief's Overtime is still applied at all Lobo functions and Isotope games. For those unaware, all Lobo events and all Isotopes games sell alcohol.
Now for the really big twist; the Downtown district (a district famous for the large amount of bars in a relatively small area) is provided with FREE police service. By free, we mean the bars do not pay the city a SINGLE penny for the exclusive use of an entire police squad; sometimes more. For example, EVERY single Friday and Saturday at least one ENTIRE squad makes themselves unavailable for calls for service and is ordered to stay solely in the downtown district.
Is the crime downtown SO BAD that it needs ENTIRE squads to be there non stop during operational hours? The answer is simple, YES! One on Saturday (October 8, 2011), while the bars were open, ONE squad handled nine dispatched calls, ten on site calls, one misdemeanor arrest, ten separate disturbances, and four separate fights. One of the fights was so violent that the victim had to be transported to the hospital with a skull fracture. On August 26, 2011, there was one stabbing, one Fire Marshall call (overcrowding at the One-Up bar), a tasing call, four traffic stops, ten separate disturbances, three misdemeanor arrests, two investigations, one theft, one traffic problem, and eighteen on site actions. In fact, our Eyes tell us the Fire Marshall is dispatched EVERY week due to overcrowding.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, these are just two examples and the Eye has many more statistics involving downtown. With all of these problems, why is the City allowing the businesses to remain open? Why is the Criminal Nuisance Abatement Unit allowing these businesses to remain open when in fact, they violate the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance EVERY SINGLE WEEK?
According the the Ordinance, "A public nuisance shall include and is further defined as any parcel of real property, commercial or residential, that is the subject of or that has been involved with calls for service to any law enforcement agency(ies) for violations of the criminal statutes cited in § 11-1-1-3(A) defining public nuisance and shall include a repeated pattern of calls for service and complaints of vagrants, suspicious persons, suspicious cars, general calls for welfare checks, disorderly conduct, domestic violence, domestic altercations, domestic disputes, loud parties, loud music, neighborhood complaints, noise ordinance violations, and public drunkenness and shall be subjected to the imposition of penalties for public nuisance as provided by § 11-1-1-11 ROA 1994."
Chief Schultz and Mayor Berry have thrown a wool blanket over everyone's eyes. They are turning less violent businesses away, and are allowing VIOLATING businesses to thrive, and even provide FREE security. The city has once again discriminated against. By allowing this to continue, the city has shown a complete disregard for the safety of its officers and the safety of the public. Next time you make a call to 911 and the officers take a long time to respond, just have a peace of mind to know that they are probably taking a long time responding as they are too busy dealing the havoc, chaos, and violence of downtown. A havoc, chaos and violence that is not only condoned by the Chief of Police, but financially supported as well.
For the complete Nuisance Abatement Ordinance, click here.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? 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