New Mexico was once a great state where family values and the safety of the community took precedence. It pains me to say those days are long gone. In the past several years, we have seen increasingly higher crime rates and homicide rates that are unprecedented in our communities. One can’t help but ask, “why is this happening?”
Most of it can be attributed to the neutering of law enforcement by “knee jerk” policies that serve as an inspiration to criminals everywhere. Most of these policies are based on events that didn’t even occur in New Mexico. In essence, creating a problem where there wasn’t one. Criminals and their advocates quickly learned that it was easy to manipulate the public with “social justice” rhetoric and cries for reform. Now, these reforms have come to collect, and the price is our communities’ safety.
As a native New Mexican and 14-year veteran of law enforcement, I have seen the effect of these soft on crime policies that have devastated our communities first hand. They were small at first. Refusal by the courts to prosecute property crimes, which gradually progressed into a catch and release program for more severe crimes. These weak policies have created a safe haven for criminals and a living hell for the law-abiding, good citizens of this state.
Now before our more liberal friends cry “racist,” let me say that I am a Hispanic cop who spent 11 years patrolling a predominantly Hispanic area. I volunteered for this assignment time and time again because I felt it was where I could best serve my community. I saw the effects these policies have on the Hispanic community or, more accurately, the good people that suffered as a result of them.
Any of these politicians who advocate for these policies on behalf of their criminal constituents should speak with the guy working two jobs to make ends meet for his family and just had his vehicle stolen for the second time this year. The single mom who comes home only to find it burglarized… again. Or the family torn apart by drugs because the neighborhood dealer is released from custody before the ink is dry on the officer’s report. What about these victims? Where are the politicians advocating for them?
When these officials say they are implementing these policies for the good of the community, I have to ask what community? It seems they cater to a small criminal element while ignoring the rights and circumstances of the majority of the community. The honest, hard working and law abiding citizen.
The current slew of anti-law enforcement legislation introduced by “social justice” activists disguised as legislators and funded by private interest groups will make our crime problem much worse. One doesn’t have to look far to see that these anti-police, soft on crime policies are an abject failure. Look at cities like Portland, Chicago, Baltimore, or our very own Albuquerque, and you’ll have all the proof you need.
I hope the good citizens of this state are willing to fight to protect the law enforcement officers that fight to protect them. Support your police and support your communities. Without your support, New Mexico won’t survive.
Contact your legislators and tell them to vote No on H.B. 4, H.B. 254, H.B. 263, S.B. 105, S.B .119, S.B. 192, S.B. 220, S.B. 227, S.B. 375, and S.B. 376.
Text #SupportOfficers to 52886
Aaron Velarde is the president of the Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Follow the association on Facebook here.