ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry unveiled a new website on Wednesday that encourages the community to keep an eye on local gangs.
"We want to make this a bad place to be a gang member," Mayor Berry said about the city.
StopABQgangs.org is full of information for teens and adults and also allows other law enforcement agencies to interact with each other.
"There are over 113 gangs that have some kind of activity in the city of Albuquerque. That's not any more than most cities, but the fact of the matter is that that's a lot and we just want to make sure we're putting the public safety resources forward so we can really fight this issue," Berry said.
The Albuquerque Police Department has also tripled the officers on its gang squad since Mayor Berry took office. APD says they also now a gang expert working 24 hours a day seven days a week.
"If we can get law enforcement and the community to team up against criminal activity that's what we're looking for," Berry said.
Berry wants citizens to become educated with the website, and then be able to help police.
"We're certainly not glorifying gangs and we really haven't put anything on the website that glorifies a gang lifestyle," Berry said about the "sobering and candid" website. "We think it's also important for people in the community to understand that there things around town that you may not normally snap to that are gang activity that you can then make law enforcement aware of. We think that's an important aspect."
"If we handle it from the proactive side there as well as discourage our youth from getting involved in the gang lifestyle, it's not an overnight situation, but over time I think we'll make a positive difference," Berry said.
Four years ago under former mayor Martin Chavez, the city passed a law that called for an online gang registry. But it was snared by legal problems which stopped it from being enforced. Mayor Berry says this new website is a completely different initiative.