ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico city is facing a rise in crime like no other. Because of those rising rates, the mayor is asking the governor to send help.

The mayor of Española explained the number of thefts and drug crimes has gone up since the holidays, and like every law enforcement agency in the state, they said they need more officers to tackle the issue.

“We’ve been experiencing in property crime such as vagrancy, shoplifting, drug trafficking, catalytic converter thefts. It’s been hitting on all new records that are typically, it’s been, it’s exponential growth,” said Española Mayor John Ramon Vigil.  

The mayor explained rising crimes like drug trafficking and shoplifting are overwhelming officers. Earlier this week, the mayor wrote a letter to the governor to request New Mexico State Police (NMSP) officers to get a handle on it. In the letter, the mayor claimed the city is a major crossroads in the state, and it’s attracting a growing transient problem.

The mayor said that NMSP was in the city in October when things were bad. He explained their presence made a difference then, but they need them again.

“We were very thankful the State Police came in and set up an operation here in Española. It was very successful,” said Mayor Vigil.

Story continues below:

The mayor said they are trying to build a better sense of community and have residents feel safer. NMSP police’s operation in Española in October lasted only a month.

The governor’s office said Friday, “The state is always evaluating changing needs for officer staffing and distribution, and the NMSP is taking the mayor’s request into account.”