New Mexico governor seeks FBI reinforcements amid crime

October 6, 2022 GMT
FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham smiles after delivering the State of the State address during the 56th legislative session, Jan. 18, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Grisham is promoting her management of the economy and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college for New Mexico residents and expanded access to preschool and no-pay child care. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham smiles after delivering the State of the State address during the 56th legislative session, Jan. 18, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Grisham is promoting her management of the economy and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college for New Mexico residents and expanded access to preschool and no-pay child care. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham smiles after delivering the State of the State address during the 56th legislative session, Jan. 18, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Grisham is promoting her management of the economy and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college for New Mexico residents and expanded access to preschool and no-pay child care. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool, File)
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FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham smiles after delivering the State of the State address during the 56th legislative session, Jan. 18, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Grisham is promoting her management of the economy and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college for New Mexico residents and expanded access to preschool and no-pay child care. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool, File)
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FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham smiles after delivering the State of the State address during the 56th legislative session, Jan. 18, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Grisham is promoting her management of the economy and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college for New Mexico residents and expanded access to preschool and no-pay child care. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic governor of New Mexico has asked the federal Department of Justice to assign more FBI agents to the state in response to violent crime.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday in a statement that she wants to replicate the success of a recent surge in FBI resources and agents in Buffalo, New York.

The Sept. 15 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland describes a recent spate of homicides in Albuquerque and says “additional federal agents are needed to alleviate the current strain on New Mexico’s law enforcement offices.” Lujan Grisham sent a similar request in June to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said the governor’s office did not receive a response from the Department of Justice as of Wednesday evening.

Concerns about crime are a prominent theme in the race for governor ahead of the Nov. 8 general election as Lujan Grisham seeks a second term in office. Republican nominee and former television meteorologist Ronchetti has painted a dire portrait of public safety conditions, railing against the state’s bail system and vowing a different approach to judicial appointments.

Lujan Grisham is touting recent state investments in crime-reduction grants, a bump in pay for state police and new spending on local police recruitment and job retention — but says more is needed.