ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The public defender’s office is no longer meeting with clients at Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Center due to safety concerns. The office says they believe the detention center is facing about a 40% staff vacancy rate, because of that they do not feel safe sending attorney’s to meet with clients in person.

Attorney’s are now meeting with clients through zoom. Some clients are being are also being transported to the public defender’s office for in-person meetings. KRQE News 13 reached out to MDC to get an update on their current vacancy rate, but have not heard back.

The detention center has been working to fill vacant positions. Beginning this month, officers get a 13% pay raise. They are also offering bonuses for lateral hires and other bonuses for new hires.