State Police plans to scale back officers assigned to Metro Surge Operation

New Mexico

State Police is scaling back. Three and a half weeks after the governor ordered 50 extra State Police officers to help crack down on crime in Albuquerque, half of them will now go back to where they came from. 

Fifty State Police officers came to Albuquerque from all over New Mexico to help work the Metro Surge Operation. Last week, KRQE News 13 rode along with State Police, where they said they were starting to see the impact on Albuquerque streets. “I think it’s a good call, and we’re making an impact and keeping the community pretty safe,” Deputy Chief Robert Thornton said on May 23. 

The 50 officers started the surge on May 10 in response to the high-profile murder of University of New Mexico baseball player Jackson Weller as an effort to get a better handle on violent crime in Albuquerque. 

State Police says their officers spent the last three and a half weeks targeting the southeast and southwest, mainly up and down Central Avenue. Days into the surge, officers from Farmington and Gallup were involved in two different shootings in one night.

In the last three weeks, State Police says its officers have made more than 400 arrests, more than 100 of those being felonies. Those 50 officers have also made more than 5,000 contacts with people in Albuquerque. 

“There’s a lot of good people in this town and just a small amount causing all the crime. APD does their best, and we’re here to help them apprehend those who are causing all the problems,” NMSP Chief Tim Johnson said on May 16. 

Since the beginning, State Police never set an end date for this surge, only saying they’ll be here as long as they’re needed.

On Wednesday, KRQE News 13 asked State Police why they’ve decided to scale back from 50 to 25 officers starting next week. They say the assignment was never intended to be permanent, and they have a plan in place to gradually reduce the number of officers assigned to the Albuquerque operation all throughout the summer. 

KRQE News 13 also reached out to the Governor’s Office to find out how much the state has spent to bring the extra officers to Albuquerque, but have yet to hear back. 

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