N.M. Police Department to Disband Open Space Division

Nov. 30, 2022
Albuquerque Police Department's Open Space Division no longer receive enough calls, and the unit's resources will be shifted to understaffed homicide and domestic violence units, the chief says.

A New Mexico police department is shuttering its dedicated Open Space Division at the end of the year.

According to Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, the unit doesn't receive enough calls to require four officers and a sergeant, KOB-TV reports. Instead, Medina wants to use those resources to bolster the understaffed homicide and domestic violence divisions. 

“Time and time again, we get asked, ‘What are you going to do about response times?’ Well, this is what we’re doing about response times,” he said.

In the coming year, the department will work with a collateral system when it comes to responding to calls such as water rescues and bosque fires. The collateral system has been compared to a "party patrol" system, and officers will work part time handling open space calls. 

“Collateral programs are nothing new to the police department, and now that we’re short, we should be utilizing them more and more, and getting more out of our investments with sworn officers,” Medina said.

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