Updated: November 08, 2019 12:51 PM
Created: November 07, 2019 09:00 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico State Police is helping fight crime in Belen.
The agency started working patrolling Belen after the FBI identified the city has having the highest violent crime rate in the state, per capita. The FBI reports that Belen also has the high property crime rate, per capita.
“We're working the whole city of Belen and surrounding areas," said NMSP Sergeant Daniel Chavez.
He and a team of 25 NMSP officers have been in the area for more than a week.
“We are finding people with serious charges who are wanted and outstanding," Chavez said. “We are taking these people off the street to make sure the community is safe."
Many in the town are asking where this leaves the Belen Police Department.
“Belen police have certainly had difficulty over the last year because they've had lower staffing number," said Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova.
Belen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez says there are four open positions with the department.
Mayor Cordova said the officer shortage means police department has had trouble keeping up with smaller issues around town.
“We do have some complaints that have been filed through city administration that we are looking into,” Cordova said.
This follows a police officer union vote of "no confidence” in the Belen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez.
“We are certainly looking at the leadership in the police department,” Cordova said.
He said the new city council will take action in January regarding potential restructuring of the leadership.
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