After four unanswered calls, Bernice decided to leave a voicemail. She thought she was calling a medical supply store but accidentally got the last digit wrong. She had actually called a special agent at the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office. Link to article: https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/telephone-mix-up-leads-to-a-big-surprise-for-elderly-albuquerque-woman/?fbclid=IwAR1Ro3B_z2KOBeWFh0gdfUekns1Su-FvxAfk6McaZzr_BksJnbw8PtPp0Kc
Our office emphasizes the community and its experience with crime. We reach beyond the bounds of traditional prosecution to improve our understanding of crime and our utilization of resources. Victim services and prevention initiatives are at the forefront of our efforts. We have been administering grant money and creating a variety of projects geared towards engaging community partners, addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and taking a community approach to crime reduction.
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, the Bernalillo County Community Health Council, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, and the District Attorney’s Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) grant partnered to host a gun violence reduction event at the end of January. The sign-making event was part of a strategy which aims to engage youth and create a public campaign for community safety and wellness in the International District.
Approximately 20 youth residing in the International District as well as some from organizations like Together4Brothers, and others participating in the Second Judicial District Court’s Young Adult Court program gathered to create signs with slogans such as “Don’t shoot, let the kids grow up/ No dispares deja que los niños crezcan” and “Don’t shoot, kids at play.” Attendees then hung the signs around the neighborhood as a temporary message to their fellow community members about the ramifications of gun violence.
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) is an organization working to mobilize communities to prevent gun violence through educational work about gun safety and the high costs of gun violence. Sign-making events have previously been held in Chicago, and are likely to continue in Albuquerque as part of a “pop-up” model. For future sign-making events, the goal will be to post the signs in a single specific location such as a park or a documented crime hotspot. CBCR plans to partner with NMPGV on community beautification, mural painting projects, and gun buy-backs as part of the violence reduction prong of its mission.
This weekend, the District Attorney’s Community Based Crime Reduction Team and Leadership Council participated in activities surrounding ABQ CiQlovía, as part of the CBCR grant’s Early Action Project in Albuquerque’s International District.
CiQlovia is an annual event that promotes community health and safety by closing down streets to traffic and creating a fun and safe space for cyclists and pedestrians. It is modeled off similar “open streets” events worldwide. This year, the event featured a community health fair, activity booths, food trucks, live music and dance, artwork, exhibits, vendors, and more.
The grant’s Early Action Project aimed to encourage community mobilization, spread information about the grant, develop relationships with leaders and residents of the neighborhood, collect qualitative data, and foster engagement and sustainability. For its Early Action Project, the CBCR grant sponsored part of the event, mobilized a volunteer effort, and hosted an activity booth.
On Saturday, October 19, volunteers from the DA’s office, CBCR Leadership Council, and Highland High School helped CiQlovía organizers clean the park and paint the street in preparation for the event the following day. Volunteers swept sidewalks and Southern Ave, cleaned trash and needles from nearby Phil Chacon Park, and painted colorful patterns onto the bike lane and intersections.
On Sunday, October 20, the CBCR project hosted an activity booth, handing out free bike helmets, reflective backpacks, tshirts, and bike locks to children and families as well as engaging the community with a safety mapping project and providing information about the grant and related initiatives. The team gathered key data points about perceptions of crime and safety in the community and distributed safety gear. Volunteers from the community and the DA’s office helped at the booth and with general event coordination.
The City of Albuquerque and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, are partnering to create the county’s first-ever security camera map. These agencies are encouraging business owners and residents to provide information about their security cameras to assist officers and prosecutors with the investigation of crimes and prosecution of criminals in Bernalillo County.
By participating in this program, you will help law enforcement agencies more quickly identify where video evidence might exist when investigating crimes in your area.
On July 6, 2019, the District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the Albuquerque Police Department and Crime Stoppers, is hosting a Gun Buyback as one of its initiatives to reduce gun violence in the community. This collaborative effort seeks to provide a safe and easy way for individuals to dispose of unwanted guns and reduce the incidence of violence. The event is open to everyone, and will take place at the Cesar Chavez Community Center on July 6, 2019 from 10am to 2pm. Firearms must be transported without ammunition in the trunk of a car.
On April 18, 2019, District Attorney Torrez visited a high school classroom at the Technology Leadership Academy (TLA). The students there have been working on projects to improve the safety and health of the community. They have proposed various infrastructure, programming, and art installations along Central to fill existing empty lots, from community centers and mobile service units for homeless individuals to venues for food trucks and a BMX bike path. The students employed 3-D printing and architectural design in their project proposals and conducted an examination of stakeholders and obstacles. They talked about their experiences in the community and opinions about the criminal justice system.
In October 2018, the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office was awarded a $1,000,000 Bureau of Justice Assistance grant for Community-Based Crime Reduction. The project funds building a Leadership Council of community members and organizers, hiring a community prosecutor, and providing subgrants for various initiatives — all with the goal of reducing crime in Albuquerque’s International District. In the last six months, the Leadership Council was convened and has met regularly, developing five working groups focused on key topic areas: Kids & Families, Economic Development, Infrastructure, Behavioral Health, and Law Enforcement. The Leadership Council has been making a concerted effort to engage diverse voices in the council, including immigrants and refugees, elders, and young people (see TLA Visit). Currently, the body is in the process of planning an Early Action Project to build community capacity to be completed in the summer of 2019.