By Associated Press - Monday, January 2, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A new top prosecutor has taken over as district attorney in Bernalillo County for the first time in 16 years.

Raul Torrez was sworn in Sunday in a private ceremony at the 2nd Judicial District offices.

He replaces Kari Brandenburg, who had been district attorney since 2001 and chose not to seek re-election.

The state’s most populous county has seen high crime rates, a steep criminal case backlog, and a fractured relationship between the DA and law enforcement.

Torrez is a former assistant U.S. attorney, assistant attorney general and assistant district attorney. He promises to reform the criminal justice system to ensure public safety.

A public swearing-in ceremony will be held Tuesday.

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