A years-old debate over use of force by police could resurface in the coming 30-day legislative session, as Gov. Susana Martinez plans to push legislation that would grant legal immunity to New Mexico law enforcement officers for actions in the line of duty.

The Republican governor, a former prosecutor, says the legislation would provide a shield of sorts for law enforcement officers — provided they're adhering to training — in a state that has one of the nation's highest violent crime rates, reports the Las Cruces Sun-News.

"I don't believe that police officers should be under this constant threat of lawsuits that will often cause them to pause," Martinez recently told the Albuquerque Journal. "If they're following their training, there should be something that protects them."

The governor said the immunity bill would not shield officers who intentionally disregard internal law enforcement policies and training.

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