KOB-TV.com - By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - A spokeswoman for Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry told KOB Monday a cursory review of finances reveals the City of Albuquerque loses money by hosting the National Rifle Association Championships each September.
An internal memo signed by APD Chief Gorden Eden states that one sergeant, 41 field officers and 15 public services aids were reassigned off their beats to provide security and traffic assistance for the competition. The payroll of all of these officers' time comes out to about $80,000.
A contract between the NRA and City of Albuquerque reveals the city is obligated to provide telephone lines, buildings, air conditioners, communication tools, storage, fax machines, copy machines, tents, picnic tables, restrooms, ambulance crews, maintenance crews, press officers and custodial staff.
All of these resources are dedicated for an event that is open only to police officers and closed to the public. In fact, during this year’s competition, APD forced KOB’s cameras off the property.
With all this in mind, our news team had one question: How is this event of any public value to the Albuquerque community? Our team thought the question was simple enough, until we posed it to Mayor Richard Berry’s spokeswoman Breanna Anderson.
Anderson refused to allow us to ask any city official this question. Instead, she sent a prepared statement from Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation, Garry Wolfe: Anderson orchestrated all this to avoid answering one simple question: how does our community benefit from the NRA shooting competition? It’s a valid question, considering the Mayor’s Office obligated the city to host the competition until 2017.
Anderson did say hotels and restaurants around the metro make about $160,000 from the NRA Shooting Competition, but admitted the city government loses money. More