New Mexicans react to bad state rankings

New Mexicans react to recent bad rankings

Studies put New Mexico at the bottom for some topics people who live here consistently say are important to them: education, health, and crime.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico is on the wrong end of some recent rankings. Studies put our state at the bottom for some topics people who live here consistently say are important to them: education, health, and crime.

One study ranks New Mexico the worst state to live in. Two others place our state second and third respectively for the most dangerous.

“It’s complicated. I’m sure there are solutions. I think it’s hard for any one city councilor, any one mayor to take care of in one term,” said Jake Buehler, an Albuquerque resident.

“It’s just very disappointing because you want your children to be taught well,” said Milee Griego-Rotunno, who lives in Santa Fe.

The rate of violent crime by population in New Mexico was more than twice the nationwide rate in 2022, according to FBI crime data released a few weeks ago.

“It’s almost normalized to people here, which is really sad,” said Tristan Larkin, a UNM student.

There have been more efforts to combat gun violence this week. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has extended a public health order.

Lujan Grisham says it’s working, saying an increase in state police operations has led to more arrests, guns seized, and traffic citations.

But the leader of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association disagrees, and says the order isn’t doing much.

“This isn’t rocket science, right? The public health order has absolutely no bearing. The facts are she increased police staffing in the City of Albuquerque, all of those statistics are like shooting fish in a barrel in this community,” said Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association.

That order also bans guns from parks, playgrounds, or other places where children might play in Bernalillo County.

Multiple incidents this weekend have highlighted what those surveys have pointed out.

Deputies say someone damaged more than 20 vehicles in neighborhoods in northwest Albuquerque. The suspect or suspects were in a car, and used a BB gun.

Police say they arrested a street racer after he led them on a half hour high speed chase. The guy hit 120 mph before running out of gas.

State police say they were surprised at the turnout at gun buyback events where people handed in more than 400 guns this weekend. Officers ran out of gift cards to hand out.