As state representatives, the issue our constituents ask us about the most is what we are doing to fix the crime problem in Albuquerque. As Albuquerque residents, we don’t blame them. Across our metro area, too many of our neighbors have been impacted by property and violent crime, and too many people in our community struggle with homelessness and drug use.
We accomplished a great deal in the recent legislative session to make our communities safer across New Mexico. But, as recent headlines make clear, we have much more work to do to make sure Albuquerque is a healthy, safe place to raise a family.
Tackling our biggest problems, such as crime, requires bold solutions and all hands on deck. We need to continue to explore innovative ways to address the root causes of crime and stop it in its tracks. This week, we will host a town hall on the east side of Albuquerque focused on your concerns about public safety and your ideas for reducing crime, as well as hearing from law enforcement and violence prevention experts, and sharing updates from our work in the Legislature.
The public safety package from the 2022 regular session was a huge step in the right direction, with its comprehensive approach to crime. We increased penalties for second-degree murder and brandishing a firearm, cracked down on chop shops, and invested in law enforcement recruitment and retention, as well as in such proven prevention methods as behavioral health services, substance use treatment, and our successful violence intervention program.
But we must continue to push for change to make Albuquerque safer. That’s why we are asking for more input. It is important that lawmakers like us listen to our constituents and to the experts. No one knows better how we can clean up our streets than our law enforcement professionals and the community groups who have insights into the root causes of crime.
Our work did not end with the legislative session. We remain committed to a proactive approach to community safety. During the interim session, we are working with law enforcement officers, judges and community groups to learn how we can make streets safer, ensure swift justice, help crime victims and address the social determinants of crime. We also want to …know how the crime crisis in our city impacts you and your family, the types of crime you are mainly concerned about and, most importantly, your ideas for solutions to this issue. We ask you to participate in our town hall and share your feedback online here: tinyurl.com/crimetownhall.