The Truth About Violent Crime in Los Alamos

In the spring of 2016, I became increasingly concerned as I witnessed our County Council defund and systematically dismantle the Sheriff’s Office, and I was compelled to action when they proposed the charter amendment to permanently abolish the Sheriff’s Office.

Council and opponents of the Sheriff’s Office presented a misguided proposal that failed, saying the people of Los Alamos are safer without a sheriff, and launched a campaign including signs with the oxymoronic claim that we should Vote For Public Safety by eliminating the sheriff’s office.

Opponents of the Sheriff’s Office made this irresponsible claim to the detriment of public safety. These events have caused me to begin looking more closely at the numbers. What I found wasn’t what I expected.

Like many of us, I believed that I lived in the Safest City in America. The fact is this simply is not true.

The question that you’re probably asking is, “How can this be?! We receive the same report that is presented to county council each year?” Well, I have looked at these reports and compared them to the reports provided to the Department of Public Safety, a state entity, and the numbers just don’t match.

Just to be clear, I am not talking about minor errors…such as 7’s that look like 9’s. I am talking about the indisputable fact that only 66% of the Violent Crime reported to the NM DPS by LAPD appears in the 2016 Annual Crime Report presented to County Council, and only 83% in 2017. Why is there difference in these reports? I have spoken with DPS Staff, and they are confident in their numbers.

All New Mexico Law Enforcement Agencies are required to report to the  Department of Public Safety, which uses the Uniform Crime Reporting Index that was created by the FBI to categorize and analyze criminal activity.

More info on the DPS Uniform Crime Reporting: https://www.dps.nm.gov/index.php/107-uniform-crime-reports

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