Lawmaker to introduce bill on domestic violence training for law enforcement
SANTA FE, N.M. – A tragedy that happened in the state this past fall will be just one case at the center of a discussion at the Roundhouse in a few weeks.
Police say a local man murdered his ex-girlfriend and her teenage son in their Santa Fe home. It was the end to a violent history between the couple.
Court documents show Carmen Navarrete she filed a restraining order against Jose Adrian Roman because of all the violence, but she was killed four days later.
This case is exactly why one New Mexico lawmaker is pushing for more training for our law enforcement officers.
Rep. Alan Martinez plans to introduce a bill to provide money for advanced training for law enforcement officers when they’re dealing with violent offenders in domestic violence cases.
“If we can do something to prevent this from happening again, then we need to do that,” said Martinez.
Police say Roman took a gun from a relative’s home drove from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, and killed his ex-girlfriend, Carmen Navarrete. He also allegedly murdered her 15-year-old son.
“This is about New Mexico and making New Mexico safer and saving people’s lives,” said Martinez.
The Sandoval County representative is asking for money to be set aside for advanced training for law enforcement handling domestic violence and stalking cases.
“I’m going to initially ask for $100,000 so we can train every law enforcement in Sandoval County. Then we can prove that this training is helpful, that it works, that we’ve reduced incidences of further violence. Then we can expand it out to the rest of the state,” Martinez said.
Court documents show Navarrete had a restraining order against Roman, and he was wanted for a felony warrant on allegations involving violence toward her.
“He would have met the criteria for rating high on threat assessment given his prior behavior,” said Paul Szych, a KOB 4 public safety expert.
Szych is working with Martinez on the bill. He says right now training for handling reports of domestic violence is pretty basic, reactive, and does little to protect the victim.
“When you’re trying to anticipate behaviors before incidents occur, when you’re trying to proactively mitigate threats against a targeted group of individuals, you need specialized training skills and abilities to do that,” said Syzch.
Szych and Martinez say if we want things to change, our approach has to change.
“To do things that are above and beyond documentation. To engage in activities and dialogue and interactions with the offender that would cause them to go in another direction,” Szych said.
“We can get a step ahead and instead of being reactionary all the time, we can actually be proactive and save somebody’s life,” said Martinez.
That bill has not been finalized just yet, but Martinez says it should be by the end of the week.