"According to the data, the metro area per capita ranks in the top 10 percent for violent crimes, which include murder, rape and robbery. And the metro area ranks in the top 13 percent for property crime, such as auto theft and burglaries."These latest stats didn't surprise us because we've been telling you for some time that APD is facing a manpower crisis; one that despite all of the money spent on recruiting, isn't going away. Just last week APD recruiters were up in Appleton, Wisconsin testing for new recruits.
"The Albuquerque Police Department is casting its net far and wide, looking to keep the rapidly expanding Southwestern city adequately staffed with law enforcement.Folks, that is what you call spin. It's true Albuquerque is a rapidly growing city with our population now said to be over 800,000, but growth isn't the only reason our police department is lagging behind. APD seems incapable of closing the gap between the number of sworn officers we have and the number we should have.
Now it's coming to northeastern Wisconsin.
Deputy Chief Michael Castro said the department has 1,033 officers and is looking to hire another 67 by the end of the year."
Back in May, the Journal ran an article that claimed the department had grown nearly 12% since 2002 and that the number of officers over at APD was 998 (Subscription). Our Eyes took issue with the 998 number and informed us that the number was really closer to 800 (read it here). Now Deputy Chief Michael Castro tells thenorthwestern.com that APD has "1,033 officers and is looking to hire another 67 by the end of the year."
Again our Eyes are taking issue with the numbers being given to the press claiming that the number of sworn officers over at APD is somewhere between 814 and 828. In addition, the Eyes have it that day shift officers are being ordered not to go to court because manpower levels are so low that they need them on the street rather than in court. Just guess what happens when an officer doesn't make it to court.
APD has repeatedly refused to provide a list of sworn and non-sworn personnel and their departmental assignments; even to city councilors. As a result, it's almost impossible to verify their force strength numbers. When you consider the fact that the Almighty Marty, Chief Schultz, and the rest of the 5th floor have developed a reputation for cookin' the books, it's hard to believe any statistics without supporting documentation.
The fact of the matter is APD doesn't have enough sworn officers on the force and on the streets. You don't need to look any deeper that today's Journal article to find proof of that fact. Out of 349 metropolitan areas - 43rd in murder, 51st in rape, 74th in robbery, 32nd in aggravated assaults, 58th in burglaries, 95th in larcenies, and where we really excel - 17th in auto theft.
Chief Schultz's reaction, "I feel safe." Let's see here... he carries a gun, a badge, and a radio; and oh yeah, he's the CHIEF OF POLICE! Even more annoying, infuriating and just plain funny is that he blames Albuquerque's poor ranking on us!
"Schultz said the FBI statistics are misleading because Albuquerque residents tend to report crime more often than residents from other cities.What?! We're talking about violent crime here. Chief Schultz can't seriously expect us to believe that violent crimes go unreported in other cities and that somehow our poor showing is the result of over-reporting violent crime. We're not sure what's more frightening, the crime statistics or a Chief that would actually expect us to believe that the FBI numbers are somehow inflated because of us.
"This is not a dangerous place," Schultz said. "This is a place in which people take crime very seriously and will report it when it occurs.'"
Remember folks, it's all up to you. The next time your stabbed, raped, assaulted, burgled, or come across a dead body... whatever you do don't, call the police to report it or Albuquerque will continue to be a dangerous place to live.