NM House Republicans Request Examination of NMSP ‘Operation Surge’

January 6, 2020

Contact: Matt Garcia-Sierra, m.garciasierra@nmlegis.gov

Santa Fe, NM-  Seven NM House Republican members from across the state sent a letter to Governor Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico State Police (NMSP), the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and the Administrative Office of District Attorneys (AODA) requesting an investigation into the failures associated with “Operation Surge” in Albuquerque over the summer.

In late 2019, just before the start of the holiday season, KOAT reported on the outcome of the recent NMSP “Operation Surge” in the Albuquerque Metro Area. The sobering statistics not only reveal how outnumbered local law enforcement is, but also highlights the revolving door for criminals is spinning faster than ever. The crime report, published on a holiday, revealed that while the increase in state police presence yielded hundreds of arrests, many offenders were ultimately released.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered NMSP to redirect officers to amplify police presence in the Albuquerque Metro area in the summer of 2019. Costing taxpayers nearly $1 million dollars and diverting 50 officers from their rural NM posts, “Operation Surge” netted 600 arrests over 59 days, according to the KOAT report. Their investigation found that, of the available public court records, 88% of those arrested are no longer in custody, 18% were arrested again after being let out of jail, and 16% were set free and failed to show up to court, becoming wanted fugitives. 

“The public deserves an official accounting from the administration, regarding ‘Operation Surge’,” said House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, “resources from across the state were redirected to increase public safety, and if our criminal justice system is rubber stamping release of these criminals we need the agencies involved to explain why. It is essential that we show our citizens that New Mexico is serious about addressing the rampant crime problem and committed to protecting our communities.”

House Republicans call on the Governor, AOC, AODA, and NMSP to provide information on “Operation Surge” and its outcomes. Providing our public safety officers with a more effective criminal justice system will help law enforcement do their job and keep the public safe.