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APD provides update on Violence Intervention Program

Program has assisted nearly 140 people associated with gun violence in an effort to interrupt the cycle of violent crime.

May 28, 2021

Today Chief Harold Medina, Mayor Tim Keller and leaders from the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) provided an update on the success of the program and the continued efforts to work with individuals in the community, providing them much needed resources to get on a path away from crime.

Since the VIP program launched a year ago, the team has completed nearly 140 custom notifications. Since these individuals were contacted by the VIP team, not one of them has been arrested on new firearm charges. This has been a huge success, and APD is working to implement strategies to expand and increase the number of custom notifications.

“I have gone out with our VIP team on a handful of these visits and it’s personal and powerful,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “When they begin to share their stories of trying to make ends meet, or needing supplies for their family, it becomes clear that they are grateful for the help from our team.”

In the last year, the VIP program has implemented weekly shooting reviews with cross agency law enforcement partners, and implemented a custom notification outreach component as well as a Call In, for group members involved in violent gun crime.

Even through the pandemic, the program continued and they found multiple innovative ways to overcome the challenges. The results have been impactful, 97% of the individuals who have received a custom notification have not been arrested since receiving VIP’s message of non-violence. The three percent who have been arrested since, were predominantly arrested for drug-related offenses, probation violations or missing a court appointment. Only one person has been arrested for a violent crime.

“Our VIP team has done a tremendous job carrying this program, providing people with important resources, and preventing violent crimes all while dealing with a pandemic,” said Chief Harold Medina. “With only one person out of 133 being arrested for a violent crime, shows that our message of non-violence is getting across to the individuals we are working with.”

Through APD’s involvement with VIP, an analyst developed a gun violence risk tool GVRT, to identify the most at-risk or high risk individuals in the city. These are people that are most likely to be tomorrow’s shooters. This new tool is the first step in VIP candidate identification and another step to ensure VIP is contacting the right people in the community.

There have been many success stories for individuals that our working with VIP. One person that is working closely with VIP has had a steady job now for the last three months, had his case dismissed without prejudice and is saving up money to purchase his own food truck and start a business.

At the end of 2020, a goal was set to increase the number of VIP Custom Notifications by 10%. Currently, year to date, the team is on track to surpass that goal. APD and the City of Albuquerque have committed to reimagining policing, and the VIP program is one way of doing that. To learn more about how the Administration is reimagining policing and taking bold action on the toughest issues in our community visit, cabq.gov/mayor/reimagining-policing.