LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico State Police and the Las Cruces Police Department teamed up to tackle some high-crime areas. The departments recently completed an eight-week operation to combat crime in Las Cruces.

The operation began on Feb. 1, 2023. According to police, the goals of the operation were to “maintain a law enforcement presence in high-crime areas, enforce criminal and traffic laws, identify individuals involved in illegal activity, locate wanted subjects, reduce auto thefts, and build positive relationships within the community.”

The efforts saw great success. Compared to the same time period in 2022, there was a 19% reduction in auto thefts, a 9.9% reduction in burglaries, and a 43% reduction in violent crime in Las Cruces. Throughout the course of the operation, 532 grams of methamphetamine and 28,000 fentanyl pills were seized by officers.

“This joint operation exemplifies how critical our law enforcement partnerships are in keeping our community safe. Through the collaboration of our agencies, our officers’ efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in property crime, several arrests, and the removal of dangerous drugs off our streets,” said Miguel Dominguez, Chief of the Las Cruces Police Department. “We will continue to work together to disrupt criminal activity and provide a safe environment for our citizens.”

According to police, officers made over 1,300 citizen contacts throughout the operation; this aligned with their goals of making positive contact with residents and reducing the fear of crime. Officers also issued 111 citations, recovered 9 stolen vehicles, and made 98 arrests.

“Collaboration is key to reducing crime in our communities. We cannot tackle this challenge alone, and we must work together with other law enforcement agencies to identify and address the root causes of criminal activity” said Tim Johnson, Chief of the New Mexico State Police. “By pooling our resources, expertise, and information, we can develop effective strategies to prevent crime, apprehend offenders, and keep our communities safe.”

The NMSP and Las Cruces police plan to complete more proactive operations in the future. The departments say, “We encourage the public to report suspected criminal activity to their local law enforcement agencies or the New Mexico State Police.”