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The City of Albuquerque and APD open new downtown police station

Gino Gutierrez
The new station is named after Don Perkins, former UNM football star and advocate for the Albuquerque Police Department

The Albuquerque Police Department and Mayor Tim Keller announced the official opening of the new Downtown Public Safety Center Tuesday afternoon.

Located on 4th St. and Central Ave. This new station will allow officers to have a presence right in the heart of Albuquerque’s downtown.

The opening of this station is just one piece in a set of initiatives and investments to make safety improvements in this district.

Police Chief Harold Medina said the idea of a downtown police station presented unique challenges for how to approach law enforcement in that space.

Gino Gutierrez
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said a new approach to law enforcement was needed to best serve the downtown district

“Our downtown officers have a very unique position when we look and we developed downtown. We recognized that there are several areas of town that had to have unique policing for their area and the downtown area, we realized that. Foot patrol officers on bikes, officers knowing the community and practicing true community policing was one of the big, key aspects in this program being successful.”

Law enforcement has been active in the downtown area for about a month now according to Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. In that time, they have issued over one hundred citations and made six arrests.

This is all a part of an effort Medina said will help people feel more safe.

“It’s about creating an overall safe atmosphere downtown. We know that there’s still work to go, but this is another huge step in the right direction to attract people to downtown. Make them safe downtown and help the businesses that are downtown thrive.”

Businesses downtown also have a stake in this new police presence.

In a partnership between the City of Albuquerque and downtown businesses, APD’s new Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring (TEAM) is now operational and has increased the number of officers on patrol during peak hours.

That is due in part to $130,000 that has been pledged by these businesses to this program. That funding is expected to keep TEAM active for approximately a year according to Chief Medina.

But city officials continued to stress that this station is simply one part of the process of revitalizing downtown.

Keller disclosed that the city is going to be adding $1 million in additional lighting and cameras for the downtown area and looking at several parking lots that have become active sites of crime.

Keller said the city will look into possibly shutting these lots down or turning them into food courts if owners do not comply.

“We just know in general that is where the crimes typically take place and what we want to see is a setup that doesn’t lead to code enforcement issues.”

City officials also announced that more information on the continued investments in downtown will be shared in the coming weeks, as they look to complete more projects by the end of October.

Gino Gutierrez
The new downtown safety center will better position law enforcement officers to assist where needed in the downtown area

As for the Public Safety Center, it is now open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be closed from 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. for lunch.

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Gino found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports and sports broadcasting. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in mass media journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. He can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the Lobo Hockey Network.