It has been reported that Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales will be meeting with President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr at the White House Wednesday, July 22. According to the news report, they will be discussing how the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has been combating crime as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.
Operation Relentless Pursuit was announced last December where seven cities would split $71 million for law enforcement efforts. During a press conference in Albuquerque, U.S. Attorney for New Mexico John Anderson explained what the money meant for Albuquerque:
“We are committed to bringing the weight of federal charges against the most dangerous violent criminals plaguing our city. We will deploy all the tools at our disposal to bring an end to the plight of gun violence in our city.”
Albuquerque was one of seven cities selected for Operation Relentless Pursuit because it has a higher than average violent crime rate. According to Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Office, Attorney General Barr had invited Sheriff Manny Gonzales to the White House to meet with Trump. Sheriff Gonzales said he will update the residents of Bernalillo County about the public safety meeting with the president upon his return to New Mexico.
President Trump has sent troops Portland, Oregon to quell demonstrations. Authorities from several federal agencies were sent to Portland to quell protests around the federal courthouse, but the presence of federal officers led to violent clashes leading to Oregon officials asking them to leave the city. CBS News has obtained a memo showing that the Trump administration is planning to send 175 federal officers to assist local police departments in Chicago, with Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Kansas City, Missouri, possibly next.
News of the potential deployment of federal resources to Albuquerque has been met with strong rebukes from top Albuquerque city officials. Democrat U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich called for Sheriff Gonzales’ resignation saying in part, “the Sheriff is inviting the President’s stormtroopers into Albuquerque.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Sheriff Gonzales is making a very, very big mistake meeting with President Trump and AG Barr at the White House without other law enforcement officials such as the New Mexico US Attorney, the District Attorney and the APD Chief and perhaps the County Manager and the City’s CAO. The meeting may garner favor with staunch Republican voters in Albuquerque as he seeks to run for mayor next year, but it sure will wind up upsetting many Democrats of all strips (progressive, moderate and conservatives) not to mention Independents.
Sheriff Manny Gonzales opposition to lapel cameras, red flag laws and sanctuary city policies does not help much either. Trump is already ordering undercover troops, like he has in Portland, to other Democratic controlled cities and the last thing the City of Albuquerque needs is for a Bernalillo County Sheriff to go rogue and invite the Federal Government into Albuquerque and assuring Trump of his Sheriff Department’s cooperation.
It is not at all likely Trump will be wanting to just sit there and not want something in return from Sheriff Gonzales. Perhaps an endorsement for his re election from a prominent Hispanic Official from a Blue State? Its common knowledge that Sheriff Gonzales is planning to run for Mayor next year against Tim Keller who is viewed as weakened because of the city’s high violent crime rates he promised but has failed to bring down violent crime despite all of his efforts. Sheriff Gonzales might as well change his party affiliation to Republican before he runs for Mayor. This is one invitation Sheriff Manny Gonzales should have turned down because it’s likely voters will now turn him down when he runs for Mayor next year.