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Public Safety: No Easy Answers or Quick Solutions

We Need New Leadership!
Ultimately, this is a leadership issue, that's why I'm running. The current Administration and elected officials on the City Council have failed us by not aggressively addressing this complex issue.  It’s definitely time for a change in our elected offices.
We Need Individuals/Neighborhoods to Engage
After 12 years of being left out of the decision-making loop, I’m inviting you to join me in making
necessary changes in this City.  Community engagement in neighborhoods is as important as parent engagement in the schools.  In District 9, I’ll work hard to make the Neighborhood Associations a working partner to help implement solutions like neighborhood community policing, lighting improvements, etc.  I plan to have two-way communication with you.  As a broadcaster, I understand the value and the wisdom of the listening audience.  You tell me what you’re seeing and experiencing and I’ll be your voice at City Hall.  This is a partnership and I will need you to assist in creating a brighter future in District 9 and the entire City.  Most importantly, if you are tired of business as usual, vote on October 3rd.  Encourage everyone you know to do the same.  

We need a complete overhaul of the Albuquerque Police Department
Starting with a new chief, there must be a thorough review of how we got here.  Here meaning, under DOJ consent decree orders, with fewer than 900 officers on the street and at the top of the most violent crime list in the nation.  The issues begin at the top. 

 We need more officers on the street.  In order to get them, we must review and revise the recruitment policies and strategies.  The 2015 Albuquerque Police Department Annual Report shows 2,484 applicants, 582 interviews and only 63 applicants seated for the Department.  At that rate, it would take more than five years to reach 1200 officers.  We cannot wait that long.

We must review and comply with the Department of Justice Consent Decree fully and as quickly as possible.  The right changes in the department and the right leadership will change the culture of APD to more closely reflect its “Protect and Serve” motto.  Additionally, the Civilian Oversight Committee must have the ability to do its job to provide community feedback and suggest corrective actions that benefit the entire City.

 I fully respect our men and women in blue and I will work hard to help to create a department that all of us can be proud of.  

Evaluate and Address the Root Causes of Crime and Homelessness in Our City and Provide the Necessary Services.

While we need to ensure that our criminal justice system adequately addresses penalties for crime, we must also look at the root causes of crime and crime prevention.  We are 8th in the nation in the rates of youth drug abuse and New Mexico drug overdose deaths involving opioids have nearly quadrupled since 1999, according to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). In the last five years, over 2400 people died from drug overdoses attributed to prescription painkillers like opioids that transfer to heroin use.  {NM News Port Feb. 2017} 

Drug use and addiction in New Mexico continues to increase and is directly affecting the crime rate.  The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence {NCADD) reports:  Our nation’s prison population has exploded beyond capacity and most inmates are in prison, in large part, because of substance abuse:

 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol.

 Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.

 Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest.

We have the money to fix this problem. The County has $17 million dollars to be used for Behavioral Health Services to address this issue and thus far, the tax continues and the money remains virtually unspent.  Again, this is happening on the current Administration’s and City Council’s watch and I promise to immediately address it as your City Councilor.

Reduce Unemployment and Create Jobs for Adults/Youth
 New Mexico unemployment is the worst in the nation according to the Albuquerque Journal. {March 2017} Job access can help explain variations in crime types across urban neighborhoods. One study of Atlanta in the early 1990s examined job opportunity for youth in neighborhoods, including whether jobs were geographically accessible, whether youth would be qualified to hold them, and the level of competition for those jobs. This study found that poor job opportunity was closely linked with neighborhood-level crime, although more closely to property crime than violent crime.  {Office of Policy Development and Research, US Department of Housing and Urban Development}

CONCLUSION
Nothing I say here is new…  I didn’t create these ideas/strategies, but we need a “doer” like me to get them implemented.  We have numerous community organizations and experts on City staff who are eager to get to the table to help the City turn the tide.  I’ll get the right people to the table and involve you in the decision-making and our children will benefit from our common sense approach.  

TIME OUT FOR EXCUSES, TIME FOR ACTION

 

 


Committee to Elect Byron Powdrell
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