State lawmakers discuss change at memorial for homicide victims

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Standing amongst those who lost loved ones to violence in New Mexico – were those called upon for creating change in the state.

During the Day of Remembrance gathering at Civic Plaza in downtown Albuquerque, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto and Sen. Joshua Sanchez said crime will be the biggest discussion for the upcoming legislative session, with pretrial detention at the forefront.

"We do need a change we need to stop giving these murderers a hug and a lollipop,” Sanchez said. “We need to put them behind bars, they are murderers and that’s where they belong."

"One of the things we need to look at is making sure that if you’ve committed a crime and you are out waiting for trial and you commit another crime, you shouldn’t be able to get out again," Ivey-Soto said.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez was also in attendance. He said that is also his main priority – stopping the revolving door of criminals – but he added that more needs to be done.

"It’s not just one solution that’s going to work,” Torrez said. “It can’t just be incarceration although that’s a really important piece, we’ve got to do a lot more for funding in terms of mental health services, substance abuse treatment."

Albuquerque’s violence is skyrocketing this year – already breaking the number of homicides the city has seen, in just nine months, than any other year on record. Albuquerque City Councilor Lan Sena has seen the pressure this has put on officers.

"Having enough officers to treat and respond to these violent crimes,” Sena said. “I know that is one of the most pressing issues that so many in our community want."

Mayor Tim Keller was not in attendance however, his spokesperson did send KOB 4 a statement that said, in part:

"We mourn for all the victims of violent crimes, and our hearts go out to the families and loved ones who are coping with unimaginable loss. Our community is heartbroken, frustrated, and angry."