scpd sgt. lara h2Silver City Police Sergeant William Lara patrols along New Mexico Highway 90.  Most categories of criminal activity in Silver City remained steady or declined in 2020, though residential burglaries, aggravated assault and vehicle theft increased from 2019.Silver City -- Silver City Police Chief Freddie Portillo recently completed a review of 2020 crime statistics and while most incidents of criminal activity remained steady or declined, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle thefts and residential burglaries were up in Silver City last year. Larcenies, which include damage to motor vehicles, shoplifting and other property damage were down overall.

Reported aggravated  assaults totaled 46 in 2020, compared to 33 in 2019, a 39% increase, while assaults without a weapon climbed just slightly to 72 from 69. Twenty-six vehicles were stolen in 2020, compared to 19 the prior year, with 16 recovered. 

Though business break-ins dropped nine percent, residential burglaries jumped to 66 from 46, a 43% increase. Chief Portillo said he and his staff will be working hard to target the areas most impacted, though no one particular sector is more impacted than another. 

"More officers will be targeting the impacted areas, and I have more plain clothes detectives out in the field to get these numbers down," said Portillo. "Officers are very pro-active and I'm confident that we'll see fewer burglaries in the coming months."

Burglaries and thefts often happen when opportunities present themselves, Portillo added, and encouraged residents to also be proactive by reporting suspicious persons or vehicles in their neighborhoods, making sure doors and windows are locked up at all times, and working together with trusted neighbors to help keep an eye on things. "We're all in this together," he said.

Motor vehicle crashes totaled 302, compared to 444 in 2019, a 32% decrease.  Captain Jason Woods attributed the decrease to proactive enforcement of traffic safety laws by patrol officers and perhaps less overall traffic due to COVID-19. Of the SCPD's 33 total sworn officers, 22 are assigned to traffic patrol.  

"From the time they are hired, our officers know that they are to be proactive and stay busy, and we take pride in that," said Portillo. That expectation seems to be paying off, given a 20% increase in self-initiated calls from patrol officers in 2020 - 28,702 in 2020 versus 23,907 in 2019. 

"The public appreciates that we didn't let our foot off the gas, said Portillo, even though we were also busy dealing with mask enforcement and retail checks due to COVID.  "We've received a lot of positive comments."

"We hope that local motorists understand that our officers are out on the streets enforcing these laws to keep people safe," he added. Not surprisingly, most crashes occur Monday through Friday, over the lunch hour and when motorists are headed home. The most dangerous intersection is Highway 180 and Pinos Altos Road, followed closely by Hudson Street and Silver Heights Blvd., and Silver Heights and Swan Street.  Chief Portillo said he has made several requests to the New Mexico Department of Transportation for traffic safety studies, which have so far gone unanswered.

Capt. Woods reported that DUI (driving under the influence) arrests have steadily increased over the past three years, and more drivers are impaired by other drugs, especially methamphetamines, heroin and opioids.  DUI arrests totaled 71 in 2020, compared to 65 in 2019 and 53 in 2018. 

"We are very proactive on DUI, and more of our offices are being trained as drug recognition experts, so that we can get more impaired drivers off the road."

The department has also applied for grant funding to implement a canine drug identification unit.  

Drug use apparently is on the rise also, as the number of drug overdose calls jumped to 21, an increase of 10 over 2019 

Domestic violence arrests were up 10% in 2020 at 136, compared to 124 in 2019. Officers were dispatched to 393 domestic violence calls, down from a total of 418 in 2019. Portillo said he suspects that increase is due, at least in part, to COVID-19-related stressors, particularly financial stress and job loss.

"We are committed to zero tolerance of domestic violence, said Portillo, and we are working proactively with the District Attorney's office to help ensure that offenders are prosecuted."

The number of reported rapes jumped 25% to 10, compared to 8 in 2019, and homicides totaled two in 2020 compared to one in 2019.

Code enforcement calls regarding property code violations, illegal dumping, littering, abandoned vehicles and parking violations declined negligibly, from 147 in 2019 to 144 last year, while animal control calls dropped 11 percent. Portillo suggested the drop is due to pro-active enforcement.

Portillo said he is committed to increased transparency within the department, and is working hard to improve data collection in order to publish monthly crime and traffic statistics and keep residents informed. 

"The public needs to know what we're doing and why," he said. "We want everything completely out in the open." "The public appreciates this, and our citizen contact data shows that an overwhelmingly majority of comments are positive. The biggest complaints are about traffic issues, mostly speeding in residential areas, and requests for more frequent patrols." 

For more information, contact Chief Portillo at (575) 538-3723 ext. 1243. To report a crime or any suspicious activity, please call Silver City Police Dispatch at (575) 538-3723.



Click to search the Beat Click to search the Beat
{{#data.error}}
{{#data.error.root_cause}}

[{{{type}}}] {{{reason}}}

{{/data.error.root_cause}}
{{/data.error}} {{^data.error}} {{#texts.summary}}

{{texts.summary}} {{#options.result.rssIcon}} RSS {{/options.result.rssIcon}}

{{/texts.summary}} {{#data.hits.hits}}
{{#_source.featured}} FEATURED {{/_source.featured}} {{#_source.showImage}} {{#_source.image}} {{/_source.image}} {{/_source.showImage}}

{{{_source.title}}} {{#_source.showPrice}} {{{_source.displayPrice}}} {{/_source.showPrice}}

{{#_source.showLink}}

{{{_source.displayUrl}}}

{{/_source.showLink}} {{#_source.showDate}}

{{{_source.displayDate}}}

{{/_source.showDate}}

{{{_source.description}}}

{{#_source.additionalInfo}}

{{#_source.additionalFields}} {{#title}} {{{label}}}{{{title}}} {{/title}} {{/_source.additionalFields}}

{{/_source.additionalInfo}}
{{/data.hits.hits}}
{{/data.error}}

Get Updates Three Times a Week

Welcome to the Update! You will receive emails 3 times a week with links to recently posted articles.

captcha 

You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top