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Recognizing Service: ACS Holds Inaugural Responder Ceremony

ACS welcomes a new class of Responders and recognizes Responder success

December 23, 2022

Today, Albuquerque Community Safety, the newest branch of the city’s public safety network, held its inaugural Responder Recognition Ceremony.

ACS Responders have taken an impressive 21,220 cumulative calls for service, delivering a new public health response to the city while alleviating APD’s call volume. As of last month, ACS has diverted 12,422 cumulative calls from Albuquerque police. That includes non-criminal, non-medical 911 and 311 calls ranging from welfare checks to assisting our unsheltered neighbors.

This evening, Albuquerque welcomed 13 new Responders to the department, bringing the total number of ACS Responders to 57.

“ACS has quickly become a model for alternative response across the nation, said ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel.  A big reason for that, is the work our Responders do in providing compassionate, individualized response to those in need.”

ACS also recognized its Special Operations bureau, which is instrumental in curbing violent crime. That includes the highly effective Violence Intervention Program (VIP), which identifies individuals trapped in cycles of violence and directly intervenes to change and save lives. As of November, a remarkable 92% of VIP participants have not engaged in further violent crime over the past two years.

“When we launched ACS in 2021, there were a lot of unknowns, but we did know that a public health and safety model had the potential to make a real difference for our city,” said Mayor Keller. “In just a short time, we’ve seen that impact play out and become a national model. From relieving the strain on APD, to providing service grounded in professional behavioral health training, ACS has brought new tools to Albuquerque.

ACS was joined by City of Albuquerque leadership, including Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael, to celebrate the work of these professionals.

We are together today to recognize the success of ACS and welcome this new group of Responders,” said CAO Lawrence Rael.  “These trained professionals are showing that a public health response is a critical addition to our public safety infrastructure, making a real impact in Albuquerque by providing the right response at the right time.”

“Congratulations to all of the ACS Responders for their hard work over the last year and a half and for being such great partners to our response in the community,” said Chief Harold Medina. “Thanks to the administration creating ACS, officers are taking fewer lower priority calls allowing for quicker responses to higher priority calls. We are better serving our community thanks to ACS being a third branch to public safety.”

“ACS has proven to be a very needed Public Safety resource, said Fire Chief Gene Gallegos. It is exciting to see them grow and continue to make a positive impact in our community.”