U.S. Sen. Luján visits with law enforcement to discuss new public safety tech

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The state’s congressional delegation managed to secure millions of dollars for public safety investments in Albuquerque. 

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján heard from APD and the BCSO about how that funding will make a difference. He also visited the Real-Time Crime Center in Albuquerque to better understand how law enforcement uses technology to improve their response.

In December, the senator and other members of our delegation secured $273 million for
New Mexico projects in the $1.7 trillion government spending bill. 

“These programs, based on what’s happening in the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, earned the support of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and the President of the United States,” Luján said. 

The metro will see millions invested into public safety projects, including operations at the Gibson Health Hub, the Community Policing Program and “Project ECHO.” It also includes technology like ShotSpotter, ways to locate cellphone users, and smart cameras. 

“That camera that has the ability to count cars, it has the ability to alert us to individuals.”

Law enforcement representatives told the senator this technology is already making a difference in how they respond to crime:

“With that evidence, it just helps to solidify our case and make it easier when we go to court because we’re not relying on witnesses alone.” 

In addition to stronger evidence, they say it allows them to respond to situations faster. They also say it helps them track suspects and weed out school threat hoaxes. 

“Instead of us barging in with a lot of officers and disrupting school for that day we can immediately log in and see on the cameras what exactly is going on.”

Luján said he was impressed by the teamwork shown between the city, and county in using all this tech. He’s hopeful lawmakers in Washington, D.C. can pull together to secure additional funding for public safety technology and projects. 

“I’m forever optimist there, there’s always a lot that you can get done until something severs and something slows it down, so work together,” said Luján. 

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said they hope to up their partnership with Albuquerque police. They plan to expand the use of ShotSpotter tech into unincorporated areas of the county.