Retired detective running for ABQ mayor outlines plan to fight crime
By Martin Salazar / Journal Staff Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes says she has the “experience and knowledge to quickly and effectively attack Albuquerque’s epidemic crime problem,” and earlier this week she released a document outlining the steps she would take.
The 13-page plan, which she has dubbed her Crime Impact Program, contains familiar ideas, such as increasing the number of officers in the Albuquerque Police Department; working with former chiefs and other public safety experts to find an interim and then a permanent chief for the department; and building a new mental health/addiction treatment center using money generated by Bernalillo County through a gross receipts tax previously adopted. But the plan also focuses heavily on combating auto theft, with Garcia Holmes noting that Albuquerque is No. 1 in the nation for that crime.
“I think it’s really crucial and essential right now that we have a crime fighter in the mayor’s office,” she said. “I’ve worked in this system. I’m not going to go into the mayor’s office and have a learning curve. I think it’s too risky to elect someone who doesn’t have public safety knowledge right now.”
In a news release announcing her plan, Garcia Holmes, a retired police detective and a former chief of staff for the state Attorney General’s Office, said, “We can’t risk our safety to amateurs at this crucial moment in time.”
Her plan calls for filling all 1,000 of APD’s budgeted officer positions, then evaluating whether more are needed. Currently, APD has about 850 officers.
“Crime has really had a big impact on our businesses,” she said, adding that she will work with small businesses to get them back on track.