Lawmaker calls for creation of Child Abuse Homicide Review Team

Politics - Government

We’ve heard it again and again over the years. After a child is murdered in New Mexico, police departments, school districts and CYFD all say they’re going to do things differently to keep it from happening again. Now, a state senator wants to create a team to help make that happen.

Sen. Michael Padilla said this bill was inspired by some of New Mexico’s most notorious child murders.

“It’s very clear in the Omaree Varela, and the Victoria Martens, and all of these horrible, horrific cases that have happened that steps were missed,” said Sen. Michael Padilla, (D) Albuquerque. “And I know that the agencies and law enforcement folks, and the judiciary and CYFD, that everyone is trying to do their part and do this the right way, and unfortunately we’re still missing things.”

Senate Bill 27 would create a Child Abuse Homicide Review Team, which would fall under the state’s Crime Victims Reparation Commission. The team of judicial members, medical personnel, criminologists, and more would review cases to identify how government and private agencies could intervene to prevent these deadly child abuse incidents.

“We’re still missing things, and as a result, we’re going to find the answers with this child homicide review team and make recommendations to the folks who can actually make a difference and change things,” said Sen. Padilla.

The review team would generate reports to help lawmakers come up with legislation. The Child Abuse Homicide Review Team would cost about $96,000 a year.

The bill has only passed one committee. 

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