The New Mexico
Department of Public Safety is under attack after announcing a new program
encouraging its state police officers to cut back on the miles they drive.
The Free New
Mexican reported that Public Safety Secretary John Denko said officers are
being asked to “voluntarily” limit the number of miles they drive to 3,000 a
Peter Olson , a
Public Safety spokesman, told the New Mexican that the department was
underfunded by about $1 million a year, but Denko – who said 58 officer positions
in the state are currently empty – insists officers will not be punished for
going beyond the suggested cutbacks.
“We have to reduce
(gasoline costs), but not at the expense of public safety,” Denko told the New
But lawmakers in the
state are unhappy about the advice DPS is dishing out. Sen. Leonard Lee Rawson,
R-Las Cruces, questioned how the department was spending its budget.
“The priority at DPS
needs to be protecting our citizens,” Rawson told the New Mexican. “We
need to spend our money on keeping our officers on the roads, not on more copy
machines and re-striping parking lots.”