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Wednesday, Sep 18th

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Balderas holds first violent crime review meeting

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ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas convened the first meeting of the Multidisciplinary Violent Crime Review Team at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque Aug. 5.

Attorney General Balderas and Julie Benner, wife of Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Nigel Benner, opened the meeting attended by agency heads to review Andrew Romero’s background and violent history leading up to the homicide of Officer Benner.

The third phase of the Multidisciplinary Violent Crime Review Team will include Community Heroes like Mrs. Benner.

“Today is a critical step forward in working to make New Mexico a safer place for our children, families and law enforcement,” Balderas said. “The violent, inexcusable death of Officer Benner was a sentinel event and the breaking point for public consciousness about how our systems intervene with habitual and violent offenders. The Andrew Romero case is an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to strengthen, and an opportunity to improve our systems and our system responses. I want to thank Mrs. Benner and all of our esteemed participants for their commitment to improving public safety in New Mexico.”

The AG has gathered agency heads to participate in a review of Andrew Romero’s background and violent history leading up to the homicide. The goal of this comprehensive review is to find and implement systematic improvements to benefit the state and the criminal justice system.

However, the formation of this review team is not intended to be reactionary to one case. The team is expected to continue meeting through the end of the year in this three-tiered review process.