Skip directly to content

Public Safety

Secretary Of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver On Passage Of Campaign Finance Bill By New Mexico State Senate

on February 14, 2019 - 8:24am
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver
SANTA FE Wednesday, the New Mexico State Senate passed an important bill on the Senate floor that will improve transparency in our campaign finance system.
Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate today 36-6 and, if it becomes law, will create clearer and more robust reporting requirements for money spent trying to influence our elections in New Mexico.
“In the post-Citizens United era when bigger and bigger amounts of money are being spent to influence our elections, New Mexicans deserve the strongest and most transparent

McQuiston: It’s Your Tax Refund – Don’t Let Criminals Steal It

on February 13, 2019 - 4:59pm

The Jemez Agency

Are you anticipating a nice tax refund this year? Maybe you have plans for a new TV or a special vacation. But imagine someone beats you to your refund by filing a fraudulent tax return, putting your plans on hold.

Instead, you’ll have an identity theft mess to clean up. And it can take nearly a year—278 days on average in the United States—to resolve tax fraud and receive your rightful refund.

Tax scams and identity fraud by the numbers

The good news:  At least in the U.S., tax return fraud declined nearly 65 percent between 2015 and 2017, as the IRS

Background Check For Firearms Act Passes House

on February 12, 2019 - 6:30pm
SANTA FE House Bill 8, the “Background Check for Firearms Act,”  sponsored by Rep. Debra M. Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque), has passed the House of Representatives.
House Bill 8 would require background checks when conducting sales of a firearm.
“We must do all we can to prevent gun violence,” Rep. Debbie Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) said. “I have been personally impacted by gun violence, and have seen the way gun violence affects our children and our communities.

Los Alamos Police Chief Releases 2018 Crime Statistics

on February 12, 2019 - 11:56am

Los Alamos Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone

LAPD News:

Today, Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone released calls for service and crime statistics for the 12 months of 2018, which were compiled by the Records Section of the Los Alamos Police Department.

Offenses reported as crime statistics are determined by the FBI Uniform Crime Report Program and are classified as crimes against persons (violent crime) and crimes against property. The offenses of murder (homicide), manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault make up the violent crime category. Simple assault is not included in UCR.

Community Invited To DWI Planning Council Thursday

on February 12, 2019 - 11:11am

DWI Planning Council News:

The community is welcome to attend the monthly DWI Planning Council meeting, which is Thursday.

New Mexico State Epidemiologist Gwendolyn Gallagher, Ph.D., Community Health Epidemiologist will present the most recent alcohol morbidity and mortality data.

The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. in Room 330 at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave.

Additional information is available from DWI Program Coordinator Donna Casados with the Social Services Division at 505.662.8312.

Debate Begins On Details Of New Ethics Commission

on February 12, 2019 - 5:53am
Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales
New Mexico voters spoke, overwhelmingly backing a constitutional amendment last year to create an independent ethics commission.
Now, it is up to lawmakers to decide exactly how the commission will work.
Democrats in the state House of Representatives on Monday put forward the first plan of the legislative session for setting up the ethics panel, proposing a board that would work with broad secrecy.
Confidentiality provisions immediately raised concerns from some of the biggest proponents of creating the

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill Advances To House Floor

on February 12, 2019 - 5:29am
Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Thomson
SANTA FE The House Education Committee has passed a bill to add consent language to the state’s sexual education curriculum.
House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would require public schools and public post-secondary educational institutions to adopt policies and procedures addressing affirmative consent and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk & Resilience Survey of New Mexico high school students, 8

Heinrich On American Artificial Intelligence Initiative

on February 11, 2019 - 3:25pm

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Senate Intelligence committees, issued the following statement on the executive order to be signed today launching the American Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiative:

“I welcome the administration’s announcement to invest more in the research and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and to build a workforce that is prepared to take on the enormous changes that will come as a result of this technology.

NMSP Ask Public’s Help Identifying Road Rage Victim

on February 11, 2019 - 3:19pm

NMSP News:

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico State Police is asking for the public’s help identifying the victim of a road rage incident on I-40 eastbound near 98th and Unser Boulevard.

At approximately 8 a.m. today, a NMSP sergeant was parked in the median on Interstate 40 eastbound between Coors and Unser when approached by an unidentified female victim, who was driving a maroon Kia four door passenger vehicle with a turquoise New Mexico license plate.

The female driver told the sergeant that a male driver in a red Jeep pointed a firearm at her.

Databank Bill Will Track Children’s Welfare

on February 11, 2019 - 10:38am
New Mexico Roundhouse. Courtesy/SFNM
After years of hand-wringing over worst-in-the-nation poverty levels and education rankings, reports repeatedly declaring New Mexico "the worst place to raise a family," a persistent opioid epidemic and a rising prison population, policymakers are pushing legislation they say will finally lead to solutions.
Without the Child and Family Databank Act, one researcher said, the state won't ever be able to solve its woes, largely rooted in multigenerational poverty.
Jeffrey Mitchell, director of the University of New

New Class Trains For Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol

on February 11, 2019 - 9:31am
Volunteer Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol group photo in front of Aspen House on Pajarito Mountain, back row from left, instructors Bart Daly, Kathy Brooks, Greg Cagle, patroller Jonathan Doorn and candidates Hermann Geppert-Kleinrath, Malcolm Burns, Jon Dempster and Eva Tourangeau. Front row from left, candidates Kelsey Beisman, Fritz Devendorf and instructor Roman Gallegos. Photo by Verena Geppert-Kleinrath
Celebratory gathering in the lodge, from left, Patroller Allison Chan and candidates Jon Dempster, Malcolm Burns, Dana Duke, Kelsey Beisman, Eva Tourangeau and Hermann Geppert-Kleinrath.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Announce Nearly $2.5 Million For Rail Runner Safety Upgrades

on February 11, 2019 - 9:17am
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján have announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $2,496,842 in federal funding to the Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RTD) to make critical improvements to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express system’s Wi-Fi network that will support full implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, a federally mandated safety system designed to prevent train accidents and derailments.
The improved technology is essential to providing a reliable path

League Of Women Voters Spend Day At Legislature; Honor Former Rep. Jim Dines

on February 10, 2019 - 10:53am

LWV officers Dick Mason and Judith Williams present former Rep. Jim Dines with an award for his tireless efforts to create an Independent Ethics Commission in New Mexico. Photo by Rebecca Shankland

New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard welcomes the League to the State Land Office. Photo by Rebecca Shankland

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver speaks to the League’s Legislative Reception. Photo by Rebecca Shankland


League of Women Voters of Los Alamos

A large contingent of members from the League of Women Voters of New Mexico,

Heinrich, Udall Introduce Measures To Enhance Safety In Remote Border Areas, Boost Trade At Ports Of Entry

on February 10, 2019 - 9:38am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have introduced three key proposals to address the needs in remote areas of the nation's southern border region and invest in our southern ports of entry to increase international trade and bolster economic development in border communities.
As congressional negotiators continue to work on a path forward for funding border security measures and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the end of the fiscal year, Heinrich and Udall want to make smart

New Mexico Ethics Watch Releases Essential Resources For Establishment Of Independent Ethics Commission

on February 10, 2019 - 9:27am
NMEW News:
New Mexico Ethics Watch (NMEW), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting ethics in governance and public life, Friday released its Essential Resources for the Establishment of an Independent Ethics Commission.
The document centralizes essential resources for policy discussions regarding the establishment of the ethics commission, on the heels of voters’ approval of the ethics commission constitutional amendment by a roughly 75 percent to 25 percent margin.
NMEW participated, in the recent interim, in the Ethics Commission Working Group, chaired by State Sen.

State Police Charge Officer For Time Card Fraud, Falsely Claiming To Have Issued Over 600 Traffic Citations

on February 9, 2019 - 9:35am
NMSP News:
OTERO COUNTY The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau opened an investigation Oct. 9, 2018 into Joseph Andrew Gonzalez, 25, of El Paso, Texas for fraudulently claiming hours on his time card that he did not work.
The investigation began when Gonzalez’s supervisor noticed a discrepancy between the number of traffic citations Gonzalez was claiming to have written versus the number of citations he actually wrote. As the investigation progressed, evidence was uncovered that supported the claim of fraudulent activity.

Heinrich Leads Border State Senators On Legislation To Improve Health & Safety In Remote Southern Areas

on February 9, 2019 - 9:11am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
WASHINGTON, D.C. In response to recent child migrant deaths, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) led fellow border state Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in introducing the Remote, Emergency, Medical, Online Training, Telehealth, and EMT (REMOTE) Act to improve health and safety in all remote areas of the southern border.
The legislation would provide additional medical training and resources to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The tragic deaths of 7-year-old Jakelin

Feds To Boost Troops At Border As Lujan Grisham Pulls Guard Members Out

on February 9, 2019 - 8:50am
The federal government is sending more troops to the U.S. border with Mexico just as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pulls back National Guard personnel from the state's southern frontier.
But the Department of Defense is not saying whether any of 3,750 additional troops headed to the border will be coming to New Mexico.
"The specific units and locations are still being finalized," Maj. Mark Lazane said Wednesday. "We hope to release that information when it becomes available, but we aren't able to do so at this time."
The move, which

Police Detectives Arrest Adrian Nieto Who Failed To Return To Boys Reintegration Center

on February 9, 2019 - 8:29am

Adrian Nieto arrested at apartment complex in Albuquerque. Courtesy/NMSP

NMSP News:

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico State Police were working jointly with the Albuquerque Police Department Friday to locate Adrian Nieto. Investigators were searching for Nieto, who cut off his GPS ankle monitor during a visit to his grandmother's home and failed to return to the Albuquerque Boys Reintegration Center.

APD detectives arrested Nieto at approximately 4:15 p.m. at an apartment complex at 1710 Dan SE in Albuquerque. Nieto was taken into custody without incident.

Nieto was booked into Bernalillo County

LAPS: Bus Safety Campaign Starts Monday

on February 9, 2019 - 6:52am
Los Alamos Public Schools bus lot. Courtesy photo
LAPS News:
Los Alamos Public Schools will kick off its school bus safety campaign Monday. This campaign will encourage drivers in Los Alamos to be extra vigilant and stop when the stop arm is extended.
Running the stop arm and flashing red lights of a school bus is not only against the law, it also endangers the safety of students getting on and off the bus.
Over the next few weeks, LAPS will be promoting bus safety in the schools and across the community. Los Alamos County is presenting a proclamation to
LAPS naming the week

New Mexico Energy Transition Act Seeks To Aid Switch From Coal To Renewables

on February 8, 2019 - 8:33am
The New Mexico Roundhouse. Courtesy/SFNM
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and several environmentalist groups on Thursday praised legislation aimed at ensuring the shuttering of the coal-burning San Juan Generating Station near Farmington and establishing ambitious targets for pushing New Mexico toward more reliance on renewable energy sources.
The bill is intended to soften the financial hit both to the community surrounding the aging power plant and to Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state's largest utility and majority owner of

Udall, Heinrich Lead Effort To Address Crisis Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

on February 8, 2019 - 8:00am
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and eight others to introduce Savanna’s Act, legislation to combat the epidemic of murdered and missing Indigenous women (MMIW) by improving the federal government's response to the crisis.
The bipartisan bill increases coordination among all levels of law enforcement, increases data collection and information sharing, and empowers tribal governments with the resources they need in cases involving missing

U.S. Marshals Looking For Disbarred Attorney Wanted For Murder After Removing Ankle Monitor And Fleeing

on February 7, 2019 - 2:03pm
Richard V. Merritt is on the lam
ATLANTA - The U.S. Marshals-led Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is searching for a man wanted for the murder of his mother in DeKalb County, Ga., after removing an ankle monitor and failing to appear and surrender himself to authorities for a previous conviction in Cobb County.
Richard V. Merritt, a disbarred attorney, was being monitored by law enforcement via an ankle monitor and was scheduled to surrender Feb.

McQuiston: Buyer Beware Of Online Insurance Shopping

on February 7, 2019 - 1:33pm

The Jemez Agency

There is no disputing that the internet has changed our lives in the past 15-20 years. It has altered how we live, shop, and interact with each other. Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple have become household names.

But technology has also brought the expectation that everything should be quick and easy.

To meet this demand, some technology companies have tried their hand in the insurance space which can be problematic for the consumer.

While being able to access a quote online is a convenient and viable option for the consumer, there is

RSF: Founder Of Human Rights Website Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison In China

on February 7, 2019 - 12:32pm
Liu Feiyue
RSF News:
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges for the immediate release of Liu Feiyue, founder of a Chinese human rights information website, who was sentenced today to 5 years for “inciting subversion of state power.”
Jan. 29, the Suizhou Intermediate People’s Court in central China (Hubei province) sentenced citizen-journalist Liu Feiyue, 48, founder of human rights website Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (also known as Minsheng Guancha) to 5 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” and “publishing articles that opposed the socialist system.”