Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will temporarily assign additional New Mexico State Police officers to Bernalillo County on Tuesday, Aug. 16 with an emphasis on the Albuquerque metro area, as part of a tactical response to violent crime.
The additional officers assigned as part of the tactical response will specifically address four deterrence and quality-of-life issues, which were identified in strategic planning sessions with local officials as key areas of emphasis where state government resources could make a meaningful difference. Those areas of focus are: Automobile theft; narcotics trafficking; aggressive driving and DWI on Interstates 25 and 40; and identifying and apprehending violent criminals with felony warrants, working in concert with the state Probation and Parole Division.
The tactical response, with state officers working in conjunction with local and federal partners, is scheduled to last at least three weeks. State Police officers assigned to the response will be from various bureaus and units within the agency, including the Fugitive Apprehension Unit and Crime Suppression Unit.
“I know New Mexicans are beyond sick and tired of crime,” said Lujan Grisham. “This state has prioritized rehabilitation and reform within the criminal justice system as well as essential community policing efforts. And we likewise must prioritize aggressive crime prevention. Repeat and violent offenders have no business on our streets, terrorizing workers and families simply trying to live their lives in peace. As a longtime Albuquerque resident myself, I know the feeling of frustration and helplessness. My expectation is these additional officers taking part in a strategic initiative to root out and round up crime and those who habitually and flagrantly perpetrate it will contribute to deterrence and prevention – and the state will continue to be available to cities and communities across New Mexico.”
“We’re continuing our efforts with Governor Lujan Grisham and other partners to strengthen crime-fighting resources all across Bernalillo County,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “APD will work with the state police as they develop their plan to send more officers to the metro area. Any collaboration must keep a focus on constitutional community policing as we use an all-hands-on-deck approach to keep New Mexico families safe.”
“We appreciate the governor’s decision to deploy additional law enforcement resources to Albuquerque, and we are committed to working with the New Mexico State Police to ensure that their efforts will result in solid criminal cases and a measurable impact on public safety,” said District Attorney Raúl Torrez.
Almost three dozen state police officers in total will be assigned to the various facets of the tactical response.
The Bernalillo County tactical response follows similar successful efforts conducted by New Mexico State Police in strategic partnership with local law enforcement agencies and communities throughout New Mexico, including in Valencia County earlier this year and in McKinley County in May.
The traffic enforcement component of the Bernalillo County response will involve officers monitoring Interstate 25 and Interstate 40 during peak commuting hours and late at night for DWI enforcement. Officers assigned will be on the lookout for speeders, distracted and reckless drivers and DWI offenses, using New Mexico Department of Public Safety data analysis to focus their efforts on the most problematic areas within the metro along the interstate corridors.
Officers assigned will likewise use department data analysis and other tools to identify and apprehend individuals with outstanding violent felony warrants. “We will work with all partners – local, federal – in the law enforcement and criminal justice system to ensure we not only catch violent criminals and prevent crime but ensure prosecution can happen successfully,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson. “We look forward to a successful operation and helping to keep the metro area safe.”