After the murder of Deputy James McGrane, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s department spent years trying to get a memorial for officers killed in the line of duty.
They finally got it last year, but it’s hard for people to go there to pay their respects.
“The memorial though is badly neglected and requires maintenance — something that public projects are always lacking,” said resident Jim Brooks.
State Auditor and former Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson says it took nearly a decade to get the Public Safety Memorial built in Tijeras, right across the street from sheriff’s department substation.
“They are the ones running towards a hazard not away from it,” Johnson said.
Johnson says it was an effort that started after the murder of James McGrane Jr., to honor all law enforcement killed in the line of duty.
“I’m very proud of the way it turned out. I’m not very happy with the way it stands today,” Johnson said.
Those who live in the East Mountains agree, they say the area looks unkempt.
“I’ve been watching it hoping somebody will step up,” Brooks said.
Johnson believes the current state of memorial isn’t honoring anyone.
“We owe it to them to acknowledge that, but part of the acknowledgement isn’t just building a memorial and walking away and never remembering it and letting the weeds reclaim it,” Johnson said.
He hopes the county will step up to maintain it.
“Building a memorial isn’t the end of it. You have to make sure maintain it otherwise you’re not honoring the people you built it to honor,” Johnson said.
The county says crews did maintenance work at the memorial two weeks ago. After KRQE News 13 made some calls Friday afternoon, the county sent crews back out there to clean everything up.