Officers appeal to Gov. for early childhood intervention funding

Posted at: 03/27/2013 12:25 PM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 1:03 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Gov. Susana Martinez
Photo: Gov. Susana Martinez

Police officers from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas and Bloomfield told heartbreaking stories about the child abuse they’ve seen firsthand at a press conference Wednesday meant to urge Governor Susana Martinez to sign legislation that would increase funding for home visits and early childhood education.

The legislation,  House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 113, would increase the funding by about $30 million dollars.

Member of the group presented a report that broke down the numbers and showed that there are some ways to curb the issue.

Home visits were one tool they mentioned. They presented statistics that claimed that at-risk families who didn’t receive nurse-family coaching were twice as likely to house incidents of child abuse or neglect, and that kids in those homes were more than twice as likely to commit a crime before age 19.

"It's not an immediate fix, but we're looking for a long-term fix,” Los Lunas Police Chief Ray Melnick said. “Not being reactive, but being proactive,to prevent crime and stop it at early ages of young children.”

The meeting was part of a national coalition called Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

That coalition claims that for every one dollar spent on early childhood education, taxpayers will save $10 on correctional facilities down the road.