A bipartisan bill would allocate $10 million to Bernalillo County’s warrant backlog

A measure to get violent criminals off the streets is making its way through the New Mexico state legislature. “Right today in Albuquerque there are 5,000 outstanding felony warrants,” Mayor Tim Keller. Local leaders all have the same goal of clearing the backlog of felony warrants, it’s really good,” said Sonya Chavez, the New Mexico United States Marshal. “So many times we take people into custody on the ground, only to find that they should have been in jail to begin with, that they have this warrant,” Medina said. Authorities urge lawmakers to pass House Bill 97 Bill Rehm, one of the bill’s sponsors, says all agencies will focus on arresting violent crimes first. The bill called for millions for overtime pay: “$10 million for Bernalillo County. They figured that would fund it for a year. And then this problem is nationwide. So the extra 10 million is for the rest of the state, some sort of state police would take the lead on that,” Rehm said. Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White says warrant backlogs were a problem even when he was one Sheriff, “We arrested 200, 300 people in these raids over a weekend. And that’s what got the bad guys off the streets,” White said. The difference between now and then is that there is no bail. “I’m the only active full-time bail bond agent in Al Buquerque,” said Gerald Madrid. According to Madrid, the warrant backlog has increased with bail reform. He says there are no serfs because people are paroled, essentially the honor system that they appear in court.”The perpetrators are only released with a promise that they will come back from court. And why would they come back, first of all, you know, there are felony charges pending out there. There aren’t any Reason to come back. There is no incentive and no way to get them back,” Madrid said. Before that, Madrid said, serfs would use bounty hunters who would track down and arrest people on bail. “When the serfs went out, all the bounty hunters went out. Because if we don’t have anybody on bail, there’s nobody to go after, so there’s no work for the bounty hunters,” he added to. Madrid believe that clearing the backlog is a temporary solution: “Everything is interconnected, in my opinion, accountability.” Rehm says bail matters. “Once we change the bail change, I think the number of felony warrants will go down. Just based on that,” Rehm said. “I think it’s time we worked together bipartisanally and tried to make our community safer,” Borrego said of target offenders and the overall impact.

A measure to get violent criminals off the streets is making its way through the New Mexico state legislature.

“Right today in Albuquerque there are 5,000 outstanding warrants,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Local leaders all have the same goal of clearing the backlog of felony warrants.

“Finding local criminals at the federal and state levels is our business, and we’re really good at it,” said Sonya Chavez, the New Mexico United States Marshal.

“So many times we take people into custody on the ground, only to find that they should have been in jail to begin with, that they have this warrant,” Medina said.

Agencies are urging lawmakers to pass House Bill 97.

Bill Rehm, one of the sponsors of the bill, says all agencies will focus on making violent crime arrests first.

The bill called for millions in overtime pay.

“$10 million for Bernalillo County. They figured that would fund it for a year. And then this problem is nationwide. So the additional 10 million are for the rest of the state, a kind of state police would take the lead,” said Rehm.

Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White says warrant backlogs were a problem even as sheriff.

“We would arrest 200, 300 people in these raids over a weekend. And that was getting bad guys off the streets,” White said.

The difference between now and then is that there is no bail.

“I’m the only active full-time bail bond agent in Albuquerque,” said Gerald Madrid.

According to Madrid, the arrest warrant backlog has increased with the bail reform.

He says there are no serfs because people are released on recognition, essentially the honor system that they appear in court.

“The perpetrators are only released with the promise that they will come back from court. And why would they come back, especially, you know, there are felony charges pending out there. There’s no reason to come back. There is no incentive and no way to get them back,” Madrid said.

Before that, Madrid said, serfs would use bounty hunters who would track down and arrest people on bail.

“When the serfs went out, all the bounty hunters went out. Because if we don’t have anyone on bail, there’s no one to go after. So there’s no work for the bounty hunters,” he added.

Madrid believe that reducing the backlog is a temporary solution: “In my opinion. It’s all connected. It’s all about bail reform and getting rid of secured bonds where there is accountability.”

Rehm says bail matters.

“Once we change the bail change, I think the number of penalties will decrease. Just building on that,” said Rehm.

Rep. Cynthia Borrego is the only Democrat co-sponsoring the bill.

“I think it’s time that we work together bipartisanally and try to make our community safer,” Borrego said.

The House Judiciary Committee asked for some changes to the bill, including how law enforcement plans to use the money to target criminals and the overall impact.

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