Rio Rancho city officials say there were 8,704 event attendees inside the Santa Ana Star Center Monday for President Donald Trump’s rally, filling the arena to capacity. Approximately 1,500 attendees watched his hour and a half campaign speech outside the arena and 53,490 people watched it on KRQE.com.
The parking lots surrounding the Santa Ana Star Center were at full capacity by 4 p.m., three hours before Trump was set to speak. According to Rio Rancho officials, seven vendors were registered with the city and some vendors were affiliated with the campaign.
The city estimates there were 200 protestors, including two who were peacefully escorted out at the beginning and end of the rally. Approximately 350 first responders were close by and responding as necessary before, during, and after the event.
Government officials and multiple law enforcement authorities prepared for the event, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2016 Trump rally that sparked unrest in the streets of downtown Albuquerque. This time, Sandoval County officials told KRQE only three arrests were made in relation to the Rio Rancho rally. All those arrested were women, with charges ranging from alleged disorderly conduct to battery.
In addition to the City of Rio Rancho staff and first responders, 24 other organizations and agencies contributed to the planning of the event and assisted in keeping attendees safe:
- Albuquerque Police Department
- Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management
- Cibola County Sheriff’s Office
- Farmington Police
- Hobbs Police Department
- Lea County Sheriff’s Office
- Los Alamos Police Department
- New Mexico Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management
- New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps
- New Mexico National Guard and the 64th Civil Support Team
- New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office
- New Mexico State Police
- Rio Rancho Community Emergency Response Team
- Rio Rancho Public Schools
- Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue, Emergency Management, Detention Center, and Public Works
- Sandoval Regional Medical Center and UNM Health Sciences Rio Rancho Campus
- Santa Fe Police Department
- Town of Bernalillo Fire and Rescue
- UNM EMS Consortium
- Verizon Wireless
The Trump campaign is reportedly targeting New Mexico ahead of the 2020 election with the hopes of flipping it in his favor. New Mexico has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush in 2004.
Trump’s 16-hour trip to New Mexico also caused multiple delays and closures throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.