Mayor Joseph Maestas spent his last days in office at a Drug Interdiction summit in his hometown of Espanola New
The summit was hosted by Mayor Maestas and City Police Chief Julian Gonzales on February 25, 2010 and included sheriffs, city police, state police, federal officials, district attorneys and members of the medical and treatment fields. The summit was facilitated by New Mexico First. Participants were broken up into two groups and each were tasked with coming up with ideas to combat the problem. Ideas were taken at large and broken down into groups of things we are not doing now, things we can do better and things we need to stop doing. Thirty or forty ideas were then broken down into four groups of importance from most important to least. The majority of participants were law enforcement and many in the public would be surprised to find that education, intervention, and treatment were very popular as opposed to incarceration and prosecution.
On the Law enforcement side a lot of participants felt that using recent efforts to strengthen and enforce D.W.I. laws would be a good model to use in drug interdiction. Making it the next state priority was the theme. Another popular idea was revising the states forfeiture laws to make them more usable and enforceable. Of course lack of funding was another big discussion.
· A comprehensive strategy for coordinating programs for law enforcement, prevention, and training
· Formalizing and coordinating multidisciplinary, multi-agency drug interdiction initiatives
· A greater commitment to the Region III task force that is showing positive results in drug interdiction in the region
· A community involvement campaign targeting neighborhood associations, church groups, and rural groups in helping address narcotic and criminal activity
· Implementing evidence-based youth prevention programs
· Revising the state forfeiture statute
The summit recommendations will be turned over to an Implementation Team comprised of volunteers from the event who are in a position to move the recommendations forward. A full report on the results of the summit will be released in about two weeks and will be posted at www.nmfirst.org.