Gov. Lujan Gov. Lujan Grisham signs crime package
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday signed a bipartisan, comprehensive package of public safety legislation that supports law enforcement efforts to combat crime and also allows judges to impose longer prison sentences for violent criminals.
“New Mexico has a worsening violent crime problem, and this legislation is part of my administration’s continuing commitment to make communities safer,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “As this legislation shows, we are fighting the crime problem on two fronts. We are working both to prevent crime and to hold criminals more accountable. That is the type of smart, coordinated effort that New Mexicans demand and deserve.”
Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 184 and House Judiciary Committee substitute for House Bills 6, 35 and 113. The House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the legislation.
- Provides funding for and requires training of school resource officers. Training will include instruction in de-escalation techniques, adolescent development, and adolescent mental health disorders and treatment.
- Increases distributions from the Law Enforcement Protection Fund for training and equipment for municipal police, county sheriff departments, university police and tribal police officers.
- Allocates up to $2 million to the Department of Public Safety to offset expenses for special deployments of state police officers in counties and municipalities around the state.
- Creates funding for law enforcement agencies to recruit, pay bonuses to and train officers in community-oriented policing, a proven tool in combatting crime.
- Increases the penalty for being a felon in possession of firearm from a fourth-degree felony to a third-degree felony, boosting maximum prison time from 18 months to three years.
- Increases the penalty for brandishing a firearm in commission of a felony from one year to three years for a first offense, five years for a repeat offense.
“I am dedicated to creating and maintaining safer communities for all New Mexicans,” said Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, a sponsor of the legislation. “This legislation is one component of a robust plan of action addressing the state’s crime crisis by holding criminals accountable, supporting our law enforcement with the tools and resources they need, and tackling the root causes of crime. I am proud to have been a part of the team championing this legislation, and I thank the governor for her leadership in shepherding this important bill through to law.”
Rep. William “Bill” Rehm, also among the sponsors of the legislation, said: “I would like to thank Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Day Hochman-Vigil and Rep. Marian Matthews for working in a bipartisan way to address the continued criminal gun violence in New Mexico and particularly in Albuquerque. The firearms provisions of the legislation are directed at those who are prohibited from possessing a firearm or using a firearm in the commission of a crime. We must make criminals understand we will make our communities safe.”
Rep. Marian Matthews said: “This legislation recognizes that crime doesn’t have just one cause or one solution by enhancing penalties for gun violence and by investing in deterrence through community policing.”
Rep. Patricio Ruiloba, who sponsored the increased distributions from the Law Enforcement Protection Fund, said: “Police departments across the state are struggling to meet service needs with current resources. At the same time, communities are facing challenges relating to elevated crime and other public safety challenges. The increased distributions from the Law Enforcement Protection Fund will deliver significant benefits to law enforcement agencies across the state, assisting departments with completing repairs, purchasing equipment and providing advanced training. That will result in better community services, education and officer safety.”