Albuquerque police chief speaks on the impact of public safety laws
SANTA FE, N.M. — Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina says the last legislative session featured some bills that missed for public safety.
However, some bills, like House Bill 175, hit. That law funded new technology and infrastructure for law enforcement around the state.
“We have invested in additional license plate readers, we have invested in bringing interface type technology to help tie all our systems together at APD, we have invested in more cameras,” Medina said.
With the funding comes more patrols, but not always in person. APD has installed more cameras downtown and also moved into their new substation at 4th and Central.
Those cameras link back to the recently updated Real Time Crime Center, which Medina says has been useful in enforcing a new law to crack down on organized retail crime. The legislation lets police combine crimes for stiffer penalties.
“That was a bill that was long overdue,” Medina said.
With the new retail crime legislation, APD has been able to increase its presence and patrols in major shopping districts like Uptown.
“Things don’t always take off as quick as you would hope, but as quickly as this bill was passed and went into action, we have already consolidated 20 cases and built 20 felony cases to bring individuals in for justice,” Medina said.
Two other laws were also hits – a law making it a felony to buy a gun for someone who can’t buy their own, and a law dedicated to Albuquerque middle school student Bennie Hargrove, who was killed by a fellow student who brought his father’s gun to school.
The legislative session starts next week on Jan. 16.