New Mexico State Police began a two-week crime suppression operation March 7 in Española and surrounding communities as far north as Chama and Taos.
Twenty State Police officers and unspecified additional Investigations Bureau agents are assigned to the unnamed inter-agency operation.
“The citizens of Northern New Mexico have spoken, and we are listening,” State Police Chief Tim Johnson said in a press release. “Collaborative operations such as this are a proven method for effectively deterring and preventing crime.”
Collaborating agencies include the Española Police Department, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Sheriff’s offices, State Corrections Adult Probation and Parole, the State Corrections Security Threat Intelligence Unit, and the First Judicial District Court.
Two similar operations were conducted last year in Albuquerque and Belen.
Slow response times from local law enforcement agencies stemming from understaffing are a common concern at community forums in Española. E-911 Center logs show State Police often kick back emergency calls transferred to their agency due to a lack of available units in the area.
State Police conducted a three-day “Stronger Together” event in Española in October 2019 concluding in a public forum in which several business owners and managers urged stronger action to prevent property crime and other community members asked that the agency do better to ensure the community that they are not collaborating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to facilitate deportations.