We wanted to know the logic of this request. Here are the facts:
APD has a shortage of over two hundred police officers.
-Our Eyes tell us APD is at 794 officers. This is a shortage of 206 officers.
In the same report that discussed Berry’s suggestion as reported by KOB TV (READ IT HERE); the Director of the gang intervention program reported, “…the cut will force her to lay off four people who work with youth.”
In a report by KOAT TV (READIT HERE) gangs are flooding our City and the State. According to Joe Kolb who is with the New Mexico Gang Taskforce, "Our crime rate is 200 percent higher than comparatively sized cities," he said. "A lot of those crimes are perpetrated by people who are in gangs."
In review of the facts Berry has asked the City to layoff four people who are not homeless (yet) and remove the vital services they provide in anti-gang prevention to youths. These efforts stop others at risk from becoming involved in gangs, violent crimes and help keep the “at risk” from becoming homeless. The facts dictate all hands on deck are needed to control crime and regain control of the City.
This all comes down to the facts: we are 206 officers short of the minimal number of officers needed to run Albuquerque; crime is up 200% and known violent gang members are flooding our City and State. This is not the time to layoff four people who want to work and who provide a service to the community in order to fund the people who do not want to work. Yes, we know the homeless are mentally ill, drug dependent, etc… Those four employees do not deserve to be put out on the streets based on a whim of a mayor who is seeking political favoritism.
We have concluded there is no legitimate logic or reason to Berry’s request. Whoever is advising Mister Berry needs to report to a behavioral health professional for a full evaluation and appropriate treatment. If this decision is solely at Berry’s choosing, he needs to have his head examined. This is not a situation of taking from the rich to give to the poor but a flat out bad decision making process.
This is an extremely poor decision. Take it back Berry; admit it wasn’t the best idea and do what is right. Mayor Berry, you are a father, husband and provider for your family; how would you feel if you were one of those four innocent employees facing the ax because of your bad decision?