ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is facing a massive backlog of outstanding warrants. Bernalillo County, alone, has a list of around 5,000 felony warrants – that’s thousands of people wanted for arrest. Now, the state is putting millions towards reducing that list.
Earlier this year, lawmakers passed a state budget worth more than $9 billion. Included within that is $10 million for statewide efforts to reduce the number of outstanding warrants. Lawmakers originally proposed a fund twice that size, but local leaders say $10 million will get the ball rolling.
“This funding will help us go after drivers of crime in our community who are violent or have recently offended and crack down on the warrant backlog,” Albuquerque Police (APD) Chief Harold Medina said in a press release. “APD will continue to work closely with our partners at all levels of the criminal justice system to hold violent offenders accountable.”
APD and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller were among those asking lawmakers for public safety funding. Keller says he’s going to keep working to put more resources behind the effort.
“I will continue to fight for more resources for our officers to make felony arrests and more tools for enforcement to make our city safer,” Keller said in a press release. “When the entire system works together, change is possible and we can make a real impact in our communities.”