KUNM

Records Show Little Planning Before State Police Surge In ABQ

Sep 12, 2019

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to Albuquerque this summer to fight escalating violent crime. Public records show there wasn’t much coordination between state police and Albuquerque police before they came.

During interviews, spokespeople for both law enforcement agencies evaded questions about planning for the metro surge. APD’s chief said he heard state police were coming two days before the operation began, according to an Albuquerque Journal report.

It took weeks for the state Department of Public Safety to hand over the public records KUNM requested about instructions or tactical plans for the operation. Those records show that memos at both police departments didn’t go out until days after state police began patrolling in Albuquerque.

Early in the operation, state officers were involved in two separate shootings in the same evening that appeared to be out of line with APD’s use-of-force policies. State officers also don’t use body cameras, though APD is required to. And state police made at least one arrest for marijuana paraphernalia—which was no longer a criminal offense under city code, though it was still illegal under state law until July.

The surge of officers drew concerns from neighbors and advocates about the way the operation was unfolding and who was being targeted.