Corporate funding acknowledged as source of downtown crime by authorities.

Local leaders attribute the year-over-year decline in crime in downtown Albuquerque to aggressive policing funded by local businesses. In September, the Albuquerque Police Department began an effort to increase police presence downtown during peak crime hours and ask local businesses to pay for it. Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Rebecca Atkins said that since the APD began TEAM (targeted enforcement and active surveillance), shootings, car robberies and car thefts have decreased by 50%, 42% and 34%, respectively. However, burglaries doubled and burglaries increased by 11% over the same period. Other crimes saw less dramatic declines. Aggravated assault and commercial robbery decreased by 2% and 22%, respectively.

Atkins said 11 downtown businesses donated a total of $150,000 in executive overtime pay for the TEAM initiative. Officials said they have used up about half of those funds since September. From Friday to Sunday, downtown during the peak hours of 10pm to 2am, he has eight police officers on duty and has no problem accepting overtime volunteers. There were five murders in the downtown area last year before TEAM was introduced. Since then, it’s been two.

Police Chief Harold Medina spoke about the results of a crime-targeting operation in downtown Albuquerque. He acknowledged the significant progress made in reducing crime but also emphasized that there was still a lot of work to be done. “We will continue to work on the team overtime concept to put resources in the right places and make sure everyone feels comfortable going back downtown,” he said.

In conclusion, the aggressive policing effort funded by local businesses has been credited with reducing crime rates in downtown Albuquerque. While some crimes saw significant declines, others such as burglaries increased over the same period. More businesses have come forward with donations since the introduction of TEAM, and officials plan to continue using this funding to keep resources in the right places. Although there has been significant progress in reducing crime, the Police Chief has stressed the need for more work to be done.

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