June 22, 2019 10:38 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deployed about 30 deputies Saturday night to patrol southeast Albuquerque.
The department’s Gang Recognition Intelligence Patrol unit (GRIP) doesn’t target gang members, but they do come across them.
“We want (deputies) to go out there and interact with the public so if they can go into businesses, if they can get out there and talk to people in the streets – get a feel of what’s going on in their neighborhoods,” said Sheriff Manual Gonzales.
Last year, the GRIP unit arrested about 300 people during their patrols and recovered dozens of stolen vehicles and guns.
“These are crimes that people want to have addressed,” said Gonzales.
During Saturday’s operation, deputy Nicholas Aragon patrolled southeast Albuquerque and pulled over a car without a license plate.
The driver, according to Aragon, was a convicted felon, on probation for drug possession.
Aragon said sometimes traffic stops are the first indication of a larger crime.
“Maybe they don’t have a license plate because the vehicle is stolen,” he said.
“A lot of times, we can walk up to a vehicle and in plain view see different types of paraphernalia laying around,” Aragon added.
Sheriff Gonzales said the program has been around for over a year and he hopes to keep it going.
The results of Saturday’s operation are expected to be released next week.