- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry will receive an award on Thursday night for “excellence in public safety” even though FBI statistics show violent crime in the city is on the rise.

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce’s award will be presented to Berry for several initiatives he launched to help fight crime, The Albuquerque Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2slrBmv ).

Addressing the rise of violent crime in Albuquerque is at the forefront of many public policy discussions, including the mayor’s race. Many of the candidates have blasted Berry, who is not seeking re-election, saying he is not doing enough to address the issue.

The inaugural award was created because business leaders have identified education, public safety and downtown transformation as the three greatest challenges facing the city, Chamber CEO Terri Cole said. The business leaders want to honor those who have tried to overcome the city’s challenges, Cole said.

She said Berry was chosen because of his efforts to fight crime, citing the city’s new ALeRT program, which aims to help keep repeat offenders off the streets by increasing communication among agencies, and because of a grant Berry secured that created “ABQ i-team,” which researches issues facing the community.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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