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Under 1/3 Of NM Police Agencies Reporting Crime Data to State

Fewer than one-third of police departments in New Mexico are complying with a state law that requires them to deliver crime numbers to the state Department of Public Safety. The state’s centralized system has been in place since 2008 and feeds into the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System. Only 35 police departments are reporting, says News From The States. Twenty-nine took part in a six-month testing period where the FBI was ensuring the numbers are accurate, and 51 were not reporting, said a report this week from by Legislative Finance Committee staff. This has the effect of leaving New Mexico without timely data on statewide crime trends.

The two largest police agencies in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico State Police, are not reporting to the FBI database “due to changes in their records management systems,” the committee reported. A section of a crime package effective this year says police could lose money if they do not comply with the reporting requirements. The money can be used to buy any kind of “law enforcement equipment” including guns, surveillance, vehicles, uniforms, belts, badges, computers, printers, phones, training manuals and classes, conference expenses and police dogs. Department of Public Safety Secretary Jason Bowie said State Police records and computer assisted dispatch systems are “antiquated.” “We are implementing changes there,” Bowie said, “and we have a new system that’s going to be online in December.” Once the system is operational, the FBI must certify it, which will further delay the process into 2023.


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