ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is not immune to dangerous and violent gangs. From hardened criminals who’ve served time in prison to new teen gangs that have already proven they can kill, the problem is not getting any better.
A decade ago, one city councilor launched a program designed to fight gang activity. But the city’s gang member registry is not being used.
Not one gang member has ever appeared in the database.
“The council supported it,” said City Councilor Ken Sanchez.
He sponsored the legislation in 2007. The plan was for a judge to determine at sentencing if gang violence was involved.
Then, a gang member would ultimately appear on the registry, complete with photos, identifiable marks, but his address would not be included.
“I think it’s a lack of communication in working with the courts, in working with the DA’s Office, in working with our police department,” Sanchez said, discussing why the plan didn’t take off.
“We need to go back, and we need to get ahead of crime in our community because people in Albuquerque do feel unsafe,” he said.
The District Attorney’s Office said Thursday the gang member registry warrants further consideration.
The Albuquerque Police Department also provided KRQE News 13 a statement:
“We look forward to working with the Councilor to help curb criminal activity in our City. We share the common goal of eliminating gangs in Albuquerque. We are committed to ensuring the intent of the ordinance is fulfilled without giving additional notoriety to those committing dangerous and violent crimes,” said Celina Espinoza, spokesperson.