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FBI Recognizes Sharp Increase In Crime Statistics Reporting

Kevin Meerschaert
Six current and former DPS employees were honored Friday by the local branch of the FBI for their work to expand the NIBRS project.

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety and the Albuquerque division of the FBI on Friday celebrated a significant increase in the number of state law enforcement agencies reporting into the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS.

Under the system state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies voluntarily submit crime data to the FBI every year, which in turn is used to provide a more detailed and comprehensive system to track crime and help the justice system analyze statistics and make informed decisions about how to address the problem             

At a ceremony at DPS headquarters in Santa Fe, FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda said the more precise information will go far in improving law enforcement.

“Data is what drives our investigations. It’s kind of the root piece of where we start our investigative efforts,” he said. “We are all concerned about crime in our communities and that is why the reporting mechanisms to accurately collect data are so important. Law enforcement uses this data to enhance operational investigative strategies as well as the distribution and allocation of resources, human capital.”      

The FBI recognized six current and former DPS employees for their work in getting more New Mexican law enforcement agencies to participate in NIBRS.

The current or former DPS employees who were recognized are: Jessica Rodarte, Lisa Hernandez, Amanda Macias, Jesus Lucio Jr., Herman Lovato, and Regina Chacon. (Ms. Chacon has left DPS for another state government agency.)

In October of  2021, when the FBI certified DPS as the NIBRS manager for New Mexico, only 23 law enforcement agencies were reporting data.

Since then, through a strong messaging campaign and providing training resources that number has increased to 74 agencies with 20 more working with DPS to have their data certified.

That’s about an 80-percent rate of participation.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.