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Mayor Berry's 2016 Legislative Priorities

January 15, 2016

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry outlined his top legislative priorities for the City of Albuquerque for the 2016 Regular Legislative Session of the New Mexico Legislature. The Mayor requests the legislative branch’s support to bolster public safety and assist those in mental health crisis in Albuquerque by approving:

  • Return to Work: This legislation will allow retired municipal police officers and other retired law enforcement personnel in New Mexico to return to work while still collecting their retirement pensions. Legislation will not damage PERA’s pension solvency. While the Albuquerque Police Department is continuing its robust recruitment efforts, to reach 1,000 officers Return to Work is imperative to bring experienced officers back into the department.
  • Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Senator Mary Kay Papen’s legislation helps individuals in mental health crisis that have a propensity to do harm to themselves or others. This bill would not mandate treatment, expand and augment services available, provide easier paths towards treatment, and divert individuals from possible jail time or self-harm.
  • Violence Against Police Officers as Hate Crimes: The City supports legislation to make any aggressive or violent act against a law enforcement officer a hate crime.
  • Tougher Three Strikes Law: The City supports the enhancement of the three strikes law which would lead to lifetime imprisonment of a violent felony that has been convicted of a violent crime on three separate occasions.
  • Constitutional Amendment for Bonds: The City would like to see a constitutional amendment to keep violent criminals off the streets while their cases are pending.
  • Gang Enhancement Laws: As part of the effort to keep criminals off of our city’s streets, Mayor Berry supports the gang enhancement laws to create stricter laws it will be tougher for gangs, gang violence, and organized crime to exist.
  • Enabling Legislation for Teen Curfew Laws: The Mayor believes that it is important for municipalities around New Mexico to have this enabling legislation passed so each community can make decisions that each feels are best for their communities.
  • Right to Work: This legislation affords an individual the right to choose whether or not they would like to participate in a union. This legislation does not outlaw unions or collective bargaining. It will help to create new jobs and spur economic opportunities according to data.
  • Capital Outlay Requests: The request is for funds to purchase additional police SUVs and camera units that can be placed in parks and neighborhoods; both would be purchases for the effort to keep our city safe by increasing security and police presence in residential areas.
    • Police Cars: The request is for Ford Explorers at $43,374 each, which include the necessary turnkey equipment for law enforcement.
    • Mobile Camera Units: Real Time Crime Center mobile camera trailers that are equip with multiple cameras and license plate readers that cost $48,703.20 per unit. The city currently has 6 units that rotate around the city to monitor crime and illegal activity in public areas, as requested.