Anti-Guns on School Grounds Initiative
The surge in gun violence has made it a priority for this office to propose creative solutions to increase preventative gun violence measures. With proposed solutions, we aim to educate the community and fill the gap for accountability when it comes to potential and existing firearms related offenses in Bernalillo County.
In March 2023, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office began the Anti-Guns on School Grounds initiative. Under this initiative, our office has a zero tolerance for anyone who brings a gun on school grounds. We worked hand-in-hand with educators and law enforcement agencies to create a curriculum to present at schools across the county, educating students about the criminal justice system and on the consequences of gun violence and bringing a gun to school.
With an emphasis on community-based services before an encounter with law enforcement and collaborative efforts to address crime, this initiative educates youth on gun violence, and is aimed to reduce and prevent violent crime, and increase public safety in Bernalillo County.
There are approximately 5,000 active felony warrants in Bernalillo County. The District Attorney’s office is committed to reducing the number of outstanding warrants and prosecuting ripe cases for violent felonies. The Crime Strategies Unit (CSU) has partnered with various law enforcement agencies, including the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and the Albuquerque Police Department, to begin clearing the backlog of felony warrants with a focus on targeting and apprehending suspects of violent crimes. These crimes include gun crimes, suspects charged with homicide, and multiple suspects charged with other violent felonies, such as aggravated battery, child abuse, and armed robbery.
CSU assists in warrant apprehension, determining the type of charges, threat level, criminal history, whether the case is ready for prosecution, and estimate prosecution success to determine which targets are priority.
Combating Retail Crime in Bernalillo County
Shoplifting has become a multi-billion dollar problem for retailers across the country, and Bernalillo County is no exception. Historically, misdemeanor shoplifting cases in Bernalillo County were prosecuted in Metropolitan Court by the arresting officer. To help alleviate the problem, the District Attorney’s Office began prosecuting every shoplifting case filed in Bernalillo County. This initiative enables officers to spend more time patrolling streets and responding to calls, focusing their efforts on crime reduction, while attorneys prosecute shoplifting cases. As a result, we are able to better ensure accountability, increase public safety, and boost economic incentive for retailers.
Combating retail crime requires collaborative efforts from law enforcement, retailers throughout the community, as well as other jurisprudence stakeholders. The Retail Crime Initiative works closely with these partners to not only hold offenders accountable, but to also identify other underlying issues that may be resulting in retail theft for the individual. A major component of this initiative is working with retailers throughout the county and state, reducing duplicative efforts to ensure efficient prosecution and reduce recidivism.