One-on-one with BCSO Sheriff John Allen

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The movement to push for change in New Mexico doesn’t appear to be slowing down on the crime and safety front. 

KOB 4 sat down with Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen to find out if he believes additional state police officers in the metro will help. They’ve been here for a week after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made the decision to move them in because of all the violence in the city. 

Sheriff Allen says while deadly and violent crimes get a lot of attention, he needs those officers’ help at all levels. 

“It’s too violent we need to do something about it. All the initiatives we’re doing and collaboration is necessary, we have to make a dent just not in a gun violence, but there’s so much other violence going on,” said Allen.

Right now, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office are getting help from New Mexico State Police. An influx of them have been in the metro for a week, but there’s no answer on how long they’ll stay. 

Allen says the more officers, the better. 

“We need help with any agency. State police is great, that’s where I came from. Anything that’s a force multiplier like I said to make sure that we’re policing proactively,” Allen said. 

He believes in the philosophy of more police leads to less crime. 

“That’s what gets people’s attention because they know that consequences, being held accountable, something is going to happen when you see law enforcement in the area,” said Allen. 

Allen is looking forward to state police helping with the crimes that tend to lead to violence. For example, auto theft, drugs and stopping aggressive drivers. 

“You might have something that’s an extension of violence, and just trying to go home, trying to go to work, into someone pulling out a firearm into someone shooting randomly into a vehicle,” said Allen. 

But we’ve seen these metro surges before. So how can New Mexicans expect long-lasting impacts this time around?

“What I’ve talked about with the governor and state police chief is, ‘How do I make that sustainable by not having so many officers here?’ How do we keep up with traffic enforcement, other undercover operations that we’re doing to make sure we’re all working together – which we have been – and collaboration with all the agencies to make sure that we keep going,” Allen said. 

He hopes every extra effort will pay off for victims and their families.

“Their message is they’re forgotten and that hurts,” said Allen. “We need to be the voices for victims, that’s what law enforcement needs to remember.” 

Allen says having state police on I-25 and I-40 is really helpful in the fentanyl fight. He says they’re both popular for trafficking the drug to and from other states. 

He also welcomes the governor’s pitch for federal agents to head to the metro. Lujan Grisham requested them from the Department of Justice multiple times, but as of this past Monday, she still hasn’t heard anything.