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Chief Medina highlights warrant backlog

Friday, Dec. 16, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE – APD Chief Harold Medina sent a letter to the Legislative Finance Committee, calling attention to an ongoing warrant backlog in Bernalillo County. Chief Medina called on legislators to support Mayor Keller’s Metro Crime Initiative, a coordinated effort to address gaps in the criminal justice system.


“I want to draw the attention of the New Mexico Legislature to a specific concern that is crippling our ability as police officers to address crime,” Chief Medina said.


Chief Medina pointed out that there are nearly 5,000 active felony warrants and more than 62,000 misdemeanor warrants in the county. On top of that, there is a backlog in entering warrants into the court system. Felony warrants can take three days to be active, and misdemeanor warrants can take more than four months.


Mayor Tim Keller said the Metro Crime Initiative supports funding for all parts of the criminal justice system. “The warrant backlog is just one example, but it is an important example of a broken system that needs our attention,” Mayor Keller said. “We need to prioritize public safety and invest in real solutions.”


Chief Medina said even though a proactive operation in recent weeks by APD has resulted in 280 arrests from felony warrants, those results only represent a fraction of outstanding warrants.


“Our officers make contact with people every day who have outstanding warrants,” Chief Medina said. “It stands to reason that they are also making contact with people whose warrants are not yet entered into the court system. That means they aren’t going to jail, and they may be committing additional crimes.”