New funding intended to fight warrant backlog in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State legislators set aside $10 million for the Metro Crime Initiative’s warrant operations during this past legislative session. Now, Bernalillo County’s half is up for grabs on July 1.

APD Chief Harold Medina says he still has to meet with reps from the county and the District Attorney’s Office to talk about how they will divide up the $5 million between the different agencies. Even though Albuquerque police don’t know how much funding they will get yet, they do know how they’re going to spend it.

At this time, APD’s ever-evolving warrant backlog sits at around 5,000. That’s not far off from the last update we got at the beginning of May, but the chief said officers have made a lot of progress.

Since January, they have cleared almost 2,000 felony warrants and made more than 1,100 felony warrant arrests.

Chief Medina said they still lan to use the incoming state money to cover officers’ overtime to work on even more cases.

“We’re actually moving some schedules around to make our investigators have one day of the week where they do nothing but pick-up warrants,” said Josh Brown, APD deputy chief. “We’ve changed their schedules to a 4-10, that means on the fifth day, they’re gonna go out, thanks to our Legislature and the funding, and go out and use that fifth day to pick up a lot of those felonies warrants that are still outstanding.”

APD also reported that during the first four months of this year:

  • Robbery is down by 53%
  • Homicides are down by 20%
  • Auto theft is down by 16%
  • Burglaries are down by 18%
  • Aggravated assaults are up by 12%
  • Narcotic offenses are up by 145%