APD reveals plan for utilizing millions in funding

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico lawmakers voted to provide $10 million to help agencies across the state clear warrant backlogs. Bernalillo County will receive half of the money to be distributed by the District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s a great start, we’re doing a lot of things, and hopefully we’ll be able to get that $5 million to do what we need,” APD Chief Harold Medina told KOB 4.

Medina went on to say he does not know how much his department will receive when that happens, but he does know the money will be used to cover officers’ overtime.

“For them to be able to come in and try to take those individuals into custody,” Medina said.

We asked about the status of Albuquerque’s backlog, and the police chief said it is constantly evolving.

“You know, it’s very fluid, it goes up and down,” he explained. “We’ve always said from the very beginning, we know that it’s unrealistic that we’re going to serve all 5,000 to 6,000 felony warrants, but our goal is to take out 800-900 key people.”

APD said it will target the city’s most wanted. In fact, Medina said officers arrested three Wednesday.

“Week before last our field officers cleared 130 felony warrants in just a normal part of their work week,” he added. “This isn’t a matter of going and knocking on a door and saying, ‘Hey, you have a warrant, time for you to go to jail.’ These are investigations, they have to look for these individuals. These individuals know they have warrants, they’re evading arrest, and there is a lot of work.”

Medina also said progress with the backlog goes beyond funding. That is why APD has been working on its relationship with the DA’s office and building better cases to keep dangerous criminals behind bars.