Bernalillo County Sheriff Gonzales publicizes his intention to run for ABQ mayor »Albuquerque Journal
Bernalillo County’s elected high regulation enforcement official is now campaigning for Albuquerque’s highest management position.
Working because the powerful on crime candidate, Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III has formally declared his marketing campaign for mayor of Albuquerque. He signed up as a candidate greater than a month in the past, however has stated in current weeks that he’s nonetheless solely exploring the chance.
He lastly confirmed his intentions in a video and press launch launched on Monday.
“Albuquerque deserves rather a lot higher than what we’re getting,” Gonzales stated within the video. “Should you go searching you already know we now have large challenges within the metropolis.”
Gonzales, from Albuquerque, joins a subject that features outgoing first-term mayor Tim Keller and two different challengers: Nicholas Bevins, a 25-year-old activist, and Patrick Ben Sais.
All 4 are in search of public marketing campaign funding and at the moment are in the midst of the two-month qualifying interval. Mayoral candidates have till June 19 to show public curiosity of their marketing campaign by elevating $ 5 in contributions from 3,779 voters.
The election will happen on November 2.
Sheriff Gonzales instantly started drawing comparisons between himself and Keller when it got here to public security. Gonzales, a former Marine, has greater than 28 years of regulation enforcement expertise, in response to his web site.
“If folks suppose Albuquerque is a secure place now, then they need to vote for my opponent. But when they imagine we have to do extra to combat crime, then I humbly ask for his or her assist, ”Gonzales stated in his press launch.
Gonzales, 57, used his announcement video to tout Albuquerque as “an important place to stay” but in addition a metropolis affected by crime.
The second-term sheriff is the senior regulation enforcement officer elected in Bernalillo County, which incorporates Albuquerque. However the city-run Albuquerque Police Division is the first response company throughout the metropolis limits, the place greater than 82% of the county’s inhabitants stay.
The town of Albuquerque has lengthy struggled with crime. In 2019, Albuquerque broke its murder file, with 80. Whereas the quantity declined barely in 2020, town is at the moment on monitor to interrupt the file in 2021. Albuquerque has, nonetheless, diminished property crimes; APD knowledge launched on-line exhibits that whole property crimes fell 10% in 2019 and 10% in 2020.
Gonzales’ division doesn’t publish annual crime knowledge on its web site – and it has waited weeks to alert the general public to 2 current homicides in its jurisdiction – though a spokeswoman for the County Sheriff’s Workplace Bernalillo, in response to a request from the Journal, offered unofficial knowledge on a restricted variety of folks. variety of classes of crimes.
BCSO knowledge exhibits eight homicides in 2020, down from 9 the earlier 12 months and 10 in 2018. The entire variety of property crimes reported to the Journal – together with auto theft and theft – fell 20% in 2020 after rising by 2.5% in 2019.
In an interview, Gonzales stated the DPA – which operates underneath the oversight of the US Division of Justice because of the DOJ’s discovering that the DPA had an unconstitutional policing mannequin and observe – has been “politicized” with too many individuals concerned in departmental choices. He stated he was significantly involved about insurance policies that forestall officers from imposing legal guidelines associated to decrease stage crimes.
“There are bits and items of what they’re advised to do and never to do this battle with their sworn positions (as officers),” Gonzales stated.
The sheriff declined on Monday to debate his particular methods to deal with homelessness or develop the financial system, saying he would reveal particulars later.
“I chaired a job pressure on homelessness, drug dependancy and psychological sickness (underneath the path of former President Donald Trump’s regulation enforcement committee), so I positively have the knowledge, I positively have the connections and I’ve an important concept of the technique going ahead, however at this level I would not be discussing the technique publicly, ”he stated.
His press launch notes that he’s a tax conservator whose household owned a small enterprise. He advised the Journal he needed to make it simpler for small companies to navigate municipal governments, however didn’t present any particular examples.
The municipal elections are non-partisan, though Gonzales ran for the county sheriff as a Democrat, dropping his first candidacy in 2010, however successful in 2014 and once more in 2018.
As Gonzales straddles his regulation enforcement background, he has been criticized as a sheriff for each his ways – together with the sharp rise in high-speed BCSO prosecutions throughout his first time period – and his reluctance to implement physique cameras in his division. BCSO MPs started sporting cameras this 12 months after the New Mexico legislature handed a regulation making them necessary, however Gonzales had resisted calls to make use of them for years, typically saying he needed the cameras for use. cash goes to the deputies.
Nonetheless, an unbiased county-funded evaluation launched in 2020 discovered that the division was sufficiently staffed with deputy ministers. Nonetheless, he raised issues about inadequate coaching in BCSO items reminiscent of homicides and felony investigations, and a “evident” lack of clearly articulated insurance policies and procedures in some specialised BCSO items.
The division was additionally on the coronary heart of an vital authorized settlement final 12 months.
Bernalillo County paid $ 4 million to settle a lawsuit introduced by the household of Elisha Lucero, a mentally sick lady killed by BSCO MPs responding to a battery name for misdemeanor in 2019. Lucero – who ran out of a camper van with a kitchen knife – was shot 21 occasions. His household’s lawsuit alleged Gonzales fostered a tradition of aggression at BCSO and didn’t have sufficient skilled officers to deal with psychological well being appeals. The county didn’t admit any misconduct in settling the case.