House Bill 267: Data Sharing to Get a Handle On Crime

On Sunday, January 27th, 2019 the Albuquerque Journal published following “guest editorial” column authored by Democrat New Mexico House of Representative Daymon Ely of Corrales, Republican State Senator Sander Rue of Albuquerque and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward L. Chavez.

The guest column deals with House Bill 267 dealing with the data sharing between law enforcement agencies.

Following is the guest column in full:

“In Albuquerque, the city and the county are making progress in improving public safety and preventing crime, but they cannot and should not have to do it alone. And because crime is not limited to Albuquerque, the state must do its part to help all of New Mexico reduce and control crime. Every New Mexican deserves to feel safe in their community, and emphasizing proactive solutions is critical to improving public safety.

The Legislature has already been working in a bipartisan manner to develop recommendations for broad and aggressive policies and procedures designed to improve our criminal justice system and promote public safety. In addition, last year the Legislature created a task force composed of stakeholders in the entire criminal justice system and charged it with the responsibility of

1) making recommendations designed to reduce crime, and

2) developing a plan to ensure taxpayer dollars are effectively and efficiently being spent in our criminal justice system. The task force recently filed its report with several recommendations. Here are a few key ones:

First, anyone who is arrested and required to be fingerprinted will be assigned a unique identifying number that must be used throughout the criminal justice system. This will ensure that the person is tracked throughout the system by law enforcement, jails, courts, prisons, probation and parole, etc. If the same person is arrested in the future, their identity will be easily verified even if they use a different name or are arrested for committing a crime elsewhere. In addition, all data about the person should be collected on the same “platform” so that the data can be shared system wide. For example, if a court schedules a hearing, under the unique identifier and shared platform everyone – the prosecutors, public defenders, courts, corrections, police officers, witnesses and victims – will know, automatically, when the hearing is scheduled to occur. If all participants know about hearings, they will show up, and there will be fewer delays due to failures to appear. Everyone will finally be on the same page.

Once data is collected and shared on a common platform, the data can be continually analyzed to evaluate whether our system is working as intended or needs improvements. Fortunately, we have access to experts in data analytics at New Mexico Tech in Socorro who analyze data for NATO, the Department of Defense and many other federal agencies and are eager to help develop the platform. Even better, the folks at Tech can train people around the state to analyze data efficiently and fairly.

Once data is analyzed, it can be used very effectively in addressing crime. We can identify the truly bad actors and keep our streets safe, while at the same time effectively utilizing resources to put non-violent offenders on the path to constructive rehabilitation. We can identify people in trouble and help them obtain effective treatment before they commit crimes. Courts can be better informed before making release or sentencing decisions. Law enforcement, courts, jails, prisons, probation and parole, etc., can ensure that their programs are following the best practices available to keep people from committing more crimes. We can also spot abuses in the system, such as racial and ethnic bias.

Of course, there is no substitute for rebuilding our mental health system and providing support for those already in prison. Focusing on behavioral health resources and substance abuse treatment is crucial for prevention efforts. As studies consistently show, locking everyone up and throwing away the key is not effective in reducing crime and has been a costly failure.

These solutions are not tied to any political party. Instead, they are solutions based on evidence and on the experience of other states that have successfully used data analytics in their approach to crime. These are but a few of the task force recommendations. To read all of the specific recommendations, go to The Legislature is committed to working with all local governments to turn the corner on our state’s crime problem.

Crime hinders our efforts to grow our communities, create jobs and engage in worthwhile economic development programs, and we need effective solutions to keep our communities safe. HB 267, which proposes the system outlined by the commission and provides resources for the needs of the criminal justice system, has been filed. Please follow its progress during this legislative session.”

You can read the guest editorial column at the below link:


The fact that a progressive Democrat State Representative, a conservative Republican State Senator and a Democrat New Mexico Supreme Court Justice would submit such a column is worth noting.

House Bill 267 merits full passage by the 2019 New Mexico Legislature.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.