ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Over the summer, Albuquerque community groups have been meeting up to talk about how to tackle the issue of violence in their communities.
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Alexander Uballez has been spearheading these discussions to learn what problems are at the heart of the violence and what can be done to address them.
“The fact is: there is no single solution that fixes all violence all at once,” Uballez said.
After speaking with community leaders over the last few months, Uballez feels confident he has a better idea of how to approach the problem.
Normally, finding ways to reduce violent crime is left up to the state. However, after a push from the attorney general to reduce violent crime nationwide, Uballez has taken a more hands-on approach.
“[We are] stepping out of our traditional roles in the courtroom, stepping out of our traditional roles of kicking in doors and putting on handcuffs, and approaching them with care and with love,” Uballez said.
Uballez has visited the communities in the International District, West Gate, and several advocacy groups. Now, he’s taking action to point community and group leaders toward the support and resources they need and are asking for.
He said he’s working with these groups to find federal funding that they may qualify for in an effort to address the many root problems behind violent crime.
For example, the City of Albuquerque was awarded $2 million in federal funding this month towards the Violence Intervention Program, which is part of the Albuquerque Community Safe Department.
“What I can do is make sure that the people here who are best situated to apply for it and are doing the best work get the announcements and know that they’re out there, know that there’s federal money out there,” Uballez explained.
Another recent federal grant helped the District Attorney’s Office build a new digital evidence portal called for police to better share details on criminal investigations.
“We’re here to provide both the support that you need or the retribution that you deserve, if you continue to drive crime, and so those are the dual promises,” Uballez added.