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Mayor Tim Keller Launches Albuquerque Metro Crime Initiative

Convening leaders across criminal justice system to develop consensus ‘must do list’ of action items to strengthen crime fighting across the criminal justice system.

July 16, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller begins convening leaders from across the criminal justice system to for the Albuquerque Metro Crime Initiative. The goal of the summer-long initiative is to bring elected officials, agency staff, and behavioral health leaders together to gain consensus on a set of shared action items that will meaningfully close gaps in the criminal justice system and improve the regions’ ability to prevent and fight crime. The first of five session begins today, with subsequent sessions covering focus areas like early intervention; detention, diversions, and hearings; and public safety career pipelines. Details on the meetings can be found below.

Each meeting will be broadcast live for the public through One Albuquerque Media. The first session will broadcast starting at 3:00pm today, Friday, July 16. Members of the public are encouraged to email [email protected] with ideas, questions, and input for participants in the initiative. Participants in today’s session will be available to discuss the initiative with the media when the meeting concludes at 4:30pm.

“Our goal is to develop a shared set of clear action items that we can stand together to support – from policy proposals that we will bring to the legislature, to operational changes we can make in our own agencies or through cross-agency cooperation,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Rather than discussing abstract theories, writing a report or finger pointing, we hope to identify a shared set of ‘must do’ items that will meaningfully improve each stage of the criminal justice system.”

Participants and Co-Sponsors of the Metro Crime Initiative include: Mayor Tim Keller, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez, Chief Public Defender Ben Baur, members of the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives, Albuquerque City Council members, the Albuquerque Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparations Commission, the Albuquerque Community Safety Department, representatives from the Metro and District Courts, representatives from Central New Mexico Community College and New Mexico Highlands University, the Serenity Mesa and Endorphin Power substance abuse centers, and all Bernalillo county public safety officials are invited to participate.  

“This initiative gives us a rare opportunity for transformation,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “As we convene, we’ll be given a chance to approach issues in the criminal justice system with a level of detail and critical thought that will lead to specific recommendations for an improved approach to prevention and harm reduction.”

“The criminal justice system is broken. Our officers make arrests every day, but system-wide, we don’t have the answers to break the cycles. If we are truly going to have an impact on violent crime, we have to come together and take responsibility for changes we can all make to more effectively fight crime,” said Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina. “It’s not good enough to just do the same things we’ve always done and expect fundamental change. I appreciate Mayor Keller’s willingness to lead this effort and pursue meaningful solutions.”

“The goal of working to secure a safer future for the people of New Mexico cannot succeed through the efforts of just one public safety agency alone,” said Chief of the New Mexico State Police Robert Thornton. “It requires common goals and collaboration and I am honored to take part in this important initiative.”

“I appreciate Mayor Keller convening this series and look forward to participating with colleagues in the House and Senate,” said State Representative Meredith Dixon. “In the next legislative session, having substantive proposals that we can act on will be an asset and offer the path forward that we need. The community that I represent wants us to pursue tangible and effective approaches, and that’s what we’ll be doing through the Metro Crime Initiative”

“The Metro Crime Initiative stands out from past collaborations in our region because of its scale and its focus on the entire system from early intervention, to arrest, the courts, citizen reentry, employee recruitment, and more,” said State Senator Linda M. Lopez. “Our region has not seen key leaders and decision makers come together in this way to develop significant changes that we can support and implement together.”

The Metro Crime Initiative will meet for a series of five sessions, producing policy and legislative proposals to address factors of crime and barriers to enforcement at the systematic level. In sessions two through five, stakeholders will examine case studies and identify opportunities for collaboration and alignment within the system and across organizations.

  • Session One – Introduction to the Metro Crime Initiative - July 16, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Session Two – Opportunities for Early Intervention - July 28, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Session Three – Detention, Diversion, and Hearings - August 13, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Session Four – Resources for Victim Advocates and Offender Re-entry - August 27, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Session Five – Career Pipelines - September 9, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.