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Mayor Keller Joins Community-Led March Against Child Abuse

In remarks, Mayor highlights steps Albuquerque, partners are taking to address child abuse .

April 13, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller joined Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) Secretary Brian Blalock and hundreds of Albuquerque residents for a community-organized March Against Child Abuse. The annual march in recognition of Child Abuse Awareness Month is put on by New Mexicans Against Child Abuse, WAKE UP New Mexico, and Love for Lilly to End Road Rage.

In remarks at the event, Mayor Keller discussed the recent deaths resulting from child abuse or neglect in Albuquerque, sharing in the grief and anger running through the community and outlining specific steps the City and its partners are taking to combat abuse and neglect of children in our city.

“Child abuse is singularly devastating and horrifying. It leaves us heartbroken and angry, it robs us of hope, and it robs our community of part of our future,” Mayor Keller said. “But it must also leave us determined to act. We’re going to do all we can to address child abuse. That means each of us playing a role and joining partners in government, law enforcement, and the community. If even one child’s life can have a different outcome, it’s worth every ounce of effort.”

Later this week, Mayor Keller is convening state and local agencies, advocates, and community groups who are part of the Albuquerque Kids Cabinet for a special session on filling the gaps in the system.

Some of the steps the City of Albuquerque is already taking include:

Prevention Efforts

  • Local convening of state government, law enforcement, and community partners to fill gaps in the system and rebuild institutions after years of cuts and neglect.
  • Giving police, who have become the de facto first point of contact in many cases, access to the social services experts and resources they need to better serve children and families.
  • Reviewing municipal-level policy options that give our police, children’s program managers, and social service experts more choices when dealing with potentially abusive situations.

Investing in Families and Children

  • Expanding the number of places for kids in summer, before and after-school, and Early Childhood programs that break the cycle of poverty and violence and give trained professionals a chance to catch signs of abuse before it’s too late.
  • Addressing the behavioral health and addiction challenges that are underlying contributing factors to child abuse.

Justice for Kids

  • Recruiting more police officers to expand the APD Crimes Against Children Unit to ensure justice for victims of child abuse.

To learn more about identifying abuse, what you can do to help, and resources for families, please contact APD at 242-COPS (505-242-2677) or visit the City’s Crime Prevention & Safety page.