New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has ordered the National Guard to patrol the border with Mexico after meeting with top law enforcement officials this morning.
Richardson said he made the decision to ensure the safety of New Mexico citizens.
“I want residents in Southern New Mexico to know we are taking this border violence very seriously by adding a National Guard presence along with state, local and federal law enforcement patrols along the border,” Richardson said in a news release.
Richardson ordered New Mexico National Guard Major General Kenny Montoya to send guardsmen to the border area. The guardsmen will work with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, which his coordinating the law enforcement presence along the border.
Richardson is also urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to increase the federal law enforcement presence at the border and make that presence permanent.
On Tuesday, the Governor announced an increase in patrols by the New Mexico State Police and local sheriff’s departments at the border while police in Arizona investigate the shooting death of an Arizona rancher near the Mexico-Arizona border.
New Mexico Homeland Security and Emergency Management Secretary John Wheeler is coordinating the state’s law enforcement response to the shooting, including intelligence gathering and sharing with all law enforcement.
Richardson in 2005 declared a State of Emergency along the New Mexico-Mexico border as a result of border-related violence. As a result of that emergency declaration, border communities were able to pay for additional law enforcement. The emergency also led to the creation of a field office for the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Las Cruces .