ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office working on crime issues with a new approach; the “GRIP” program was created to do just that. GRIP stands for ‘gang recognition intelligence patrol.’

Deputies in the program, gather information on gang activity instead of just responding to calls reporting a crime that has already happened.

GRIP allows them to build connections with community members and business owners and learn what crimes are taking place in a certain area and by who. They say a lot of the crimes are gang-related. They noted that Albuquerque has more than 200 gangs in the city and well over 15,000 gang members. GRIP allows deputies to focus on problem areas.

Lt. Russell Broyles, a supervisor of the GRIP program, said, “the reaction from the businesses in the areas that we have operations is very good. I get calls asking me to come back all the time.”

BCSO conducts its GRIP operations at least once a week. Those operations include community outreach and warrant round-ups. BCSO explained because of the grip operations, they’ve made 239 arrests this year with 189 of those being felonies. They said they have also confiscated 30,000 fentanyl pills. The GRIP unit also helps gather information on retail crime throughout the city.