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Albuquerque Community Safety Welcomes New Responders

ACS holds responder graduation ceremony .

March 22, 2023

This evening, Albuquerque Community Safety held a graduation ceremony for eight Responders who recently went through the ACS Academy. This brings the total number of ACS Responders and Supervisors to 55.

The four-week academy encompasses everything Responders need to know in order to be successful in the field, including our signature WE CARE training. The training utilizes actors who play out scenarios Responders might see in the field. The academy is followed by four weeks of on-the-job training.

“Our goal is to recruit and train in a way that emphasizes service, compassion, and community healing,” said Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. “Because of this, our Responders are able to be the catalyst for change in the lives of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis, that includes homelessness.”

“By creating the Albuquerque Community Safety Department, we knew we were filling a crucial need for our community, but we have also created a blueprint for communities across the nation,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Our Responders are effective because of their compassion, expertise, training, and deep understanding of the people and community they serve.”

These new Responders will help ACS increase their capacity to take more 911 and 311 calls and divert more calls from Albuquerque Police. To date, ACS has taken more than 26,000 cumulative calls for service and diverted about 16,000 calls from police.

“As ACS continues to forge forward in becoming a 24/7 service, it is imperative we bolster our department,” said ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel. “This class of Responders and those that come after will help ensure people have a trained professional when experiencing a crisis.”