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Mayor's Metro Crime Initiative Releases Crime Fighting Agenda

 

Mayor’s Metro Crime Initiative Releases Crime Fighting Agenda

Action plan lays out clear path to turn the tide on crime, bolster criminal justice system for better outcomes

Tuesday, 9/21/21

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, Mayor Tim Keller and leaders from across New Mexico’s criminal justice system released the Metro Crime Initiative’s (MCI) agenda, a priority list of action items to turn the tide on crime in the region. MCI partners will now turn their focus to implementing these changes in the legislature, city council, and between their own agencies and departments.

“We called everyone to the table because violent crime is unacceptable. We are sick of it, we are tired of the dead ends of past ‘one off’ efforts, and we are holding each other accountable to do our part,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Through the Metro Crime Initiative, we produced 40 specific action items that span from reducing gun violence and closing the revolving door to strengthening violence prevention, diversion and rebuilding our behavioral health system. I am joining the victims of violent crimes, and Burqueños from all walks of life to insist that we take action now, inside each of our agencies and with our partners in the metro area and at the Roundhouse. The agenda we’re putting forward today is focused, achievable, and urgent. I’m grateful for the hard work all our partners have put in and now look forward to making this agenda happen alongside them.”

"I am glad my administration was able to take part in these valuable conversations," said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. "As I have said before, tackling violent crime will take all of us, across jurisdictions and different branches of government, working together to aggressively root out bad actors and, more broadly, to sustain long-term strategic investments in programs and communities that support children and families with opportunities to thrive. I look forward to continued partnership in suppressing and mitigating violent crime throughout our state."

Mayor Keller convened MCI throughout the summer to build consensus among key stakeholders on clear and actionable reforms. Since then, participants have met for five working sessions. The agenda released today represents items identified by institutional partners as priorities that can be accomplished in the short term and make a meaningful difference in crime fighting, prevention, public safety career recruitment, and behavioral health support.

“The Metro Crime Initiative provided us a rare and necessary opportunity for transformation,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This undertaking approached issues in the criminal justice system, law enforcement, and behavioral health services with a level of detail and critical thought that produced these specific recommendations that can make improvements across the system, now.”

“We support the crime initiatives announced by the City today. The Mayor and the District Attorney share a common goal of addressing crime and creating a safe environment for our community," said Chief Deputy District Attorney James Grayson. “Any entity that is willing to devote resources to try to solve our violent crime crisis has our support. We will continue engaging with other stakeholders to find the best way forward, including preparing our own legislative proposals for the upcoming legislative session.”

“No single entity can achieve this agenda by itself, and today is just the beginning of our work to make these priorities a reality,” said Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Albuquerque, Sarita Nair. “At the same time, our administration is launching the Gateway Center and the Albuquerque Community Safety Department, and continuing successful partnerships already underway with regional law enforcement. All of these efforts together will be a game changer for central New Mexico.”

“We are coming off a tough few years for law enforcement. Ask any officer, and all they want is the opportunity to do what they signed up for – to fight crime and keep the community safe. But we can’t achieve both goals when people who commit crimes are not held accountable, and they are not getting services they need,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. “The Metro Crime Initiative is a necessary step toward restoring that accountability to the entire criminal justice system.”

“As we come together to fight violent crime in Albuquerque, it is important to note that we are well down the path of reform and culture change at APD,” said City of Albuquerque Superintendent of Police Reform Sylvester Stanley. “Mayor Keller and the City Council are committed to investing in our officers, and our officers are committed to Constitutional policing. We don’t have to choose between needed police reform and other fixes to the criminal justice system – we must do all of those things.”

“The Metro Crime Initiative has brought key decision makers and stakeholders together to find the pressure points for change,” said Representative Meredith Dixon. “The agenda produced by the Initiative is about making Albuquerque families safer. It has already been incredibly valuable to House members, as will having the MCI partners’ collective muscle as we fight for our community's priorities in Santa Fe.”

“The discussions we’ve had throughout this initiative transcend politics and personal beliefs. Instead of trying to win, to beat each other, we should be focused on trying to find the best solution for those involved,” said Jeff Holland, Endorphin Power Company. “I’m glad that concrete steps to rebuild our behavioral health system were part of the mayor’s and all of our partners’ focus. We’re planting seeds now that we believe will truly help people, and help our community.”

While each individual solution is not unanimously supported by the broad table of participants in MCI, every item has support from multiple partners and agencies. As a whole, the agenda represents a priority list of systemic change and a clear path forward to reduce crime, gun violence, and recidivism, and significantly expand crime prevention and behavioral health programs.   

Participants in 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, Bernalillo County Officials, representatives from First Nations, representatives from the Metro and District Courts, 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, Serenity Mesa, Endorphin Power, Crossroads for Women, Women in Leadership representatives from Central New Mexico Community College, New Mexico Highlands University, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Public Schools, and ABC Schools.