SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A bill that wants to help address the issues that lead to crime in Bernalillo County is making its way through the roundhouse. House Bill 152 asks for a one-time payment of $10 million to the Bernalillo County Department of Finance and Administration to help combat crime in Albuquerque.

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One of the ideas, providing incentives to recruit and retain behavioral health professionals. “COVID has taught us that the demand for behavioral health services has increased significantly and if we can barely meet the bare needs, then how are we going to meet those expanded capacity needs in the community?” said Bernalillo County Director of Behavioral Health Services Margarita Chavez Sanchez.

The money would also boost training for law enforcement with a focus on deterrence and community policing when dealing with people’s mental health issues and fund mobile health clinics while expanding public housing options. They pointed out federal HUD funding is not geared toward people who are likely to commit crimes due to homelessness.

This includes the so-called precariously housed. The bill from Albuquerque Democrat Joy Garratt passes the House Health and Human Services Committee Monday morning. Backers of the bill also pointed out that 20% of the people being helped by Bernalillo County’s Behavioral Health Services are from outside the county.