Albuquerque mayor: Pandemic erased much of progress vs crime

June 26, 2022 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said much of the progress made against crime was erased by the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes the city’s police department has made improvements.

In his first State of the City address of his second term, Keller also announced Saturday that the Albuquerque Police Department is seeking release from at least some of the federal oversight it has been under since 2015.

He said police are aiming to show compliance with about a quarter of the terms inside its U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Keller had made a similar announcement during his 2020 State of the City address, but the release never happened.

Keller didn’t announce any new solutions for homelessness, but said the city is revisiting its approach to encampments.

“We need to be given permission and the approval to clear Coronado Park and create places for folks to go,” he said. “We need zoning approval for the Gateway Center and every idea in between.”

Keller also discussed plans to revitalize downtown Albuquerque, a new career experience program for kids and climate action initiatives.