Program will provide quicker, experienced assistance with property crime calls citywide
Albuquerque, NM – Mayor Richard J. Berry, Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry, and City Councilors Brad Winter, Ken Sanchez, and Pat Davis announced the hiring of 16 Property Crime Reporting Technicians as part of a property crime reduction pilot program. This program comes after the Mayor’s 14 point crime reduction plan that was announced October 2016 calling for the hiring of a specialized unit of civilian technicians to assist with the workload on sworn police officers.
The pilot program consists of 16 specialists to respond to property crime calls that are categorized as priority 3, or non-emergency calls for service. Property crime calls typically do not require an immediate police response. These calls are usually delayed reports of home burglaries, auto theft, and other property crimes requiring a police report and investigation. In 2016 property crime has increased 13.3%.
“This innovative program will relieve sworn officers thousands of hours spent filling out paperwork, giving them the opportunity to focus on more proactive work,” said Mayor Berry. “These technicians will act as community advocates for victims of property crimes, providing a timely and high quality response as we work diligently towards fully staffing the department.”
The Property Crime Reporting Technicians will:
- Photograph, canvas neighborhoods, collect evidence and follow-up with victims personally
- Be unarmed, and will not have arrest authority
- Have been Police Academy trained
- Provide a timely and high quality response to reports of crime
- Testify in court on cases
- Be able to access pertinent law enforcement databases and coordinate investigations with APD detectives to solve and arrest offenders
Similar programs have been successfully studied and instituted in several cities, including Denver, Colorado; Oklahoma City; Austin, Texas; and Maricopa County in Arizona.
“Public safety, and the need of our citizens to feel safe and secure in their homes and community, is the most important issue facing the City right now,” said Councilor Sanchez. “We need to respond more quickly to investigate property crime calls while at the same time freeing up our sworn officers so that they can more quickly respond to emergency calls.”
“This pilot program is anticipated to help decrease response times and then provide follow-up for the citizens who experience property crime,” said Councilor Winter. “The most exciting component is the ability for these dedicated PSA’s to conduct an investigation and then work with APD detectives to solve the cases. The citizens of Albuquerque deserve a timely and high quality response to all reports of crime.”
“When we began to look at this problem, we promised that no idea was off the table. This initiative fulfills an important commitment to our neighborhoods by looking for innovative ways to prioritize property crime investigations and we are doing it by creating full-time jobs with highly trained investigators,” said Councilor Davis. “I’m proud to work together with the councilors and mayor to respond to citizen concerns.”
The 16 Property Crime Reporting Technicians started a dynamic, comprehensive six-week Academy on April 3rd. Following the completion of their training, they will go into the field to respond to property crime calls reporting to the Scientific Evidence Division. The full time property crime reporting technicians will be paid $17.50 per hour.
The budget for the remainder of the fiscal year is $300,000. Mayor Berry has allocated $1.2 million in his proposed FY/18 budget that he sent to City Council March 31st.