Metro Crime Initiative Meets for Second Session Targeted on Early Intervention — Metropolis of Albuquerque

July 29, 2021

Mayor Tim Keller’s Metro Crime Initiative met yesterday afternoon for its second meeting and first topic-related discussion. Systems of early intervention were examined on the basis of a case study and specific recommendations for strengthening the criminal justice system were developed. The discussion included government officials and leaders, early intervention experts from the judiciary and law enforcement systems, and community liaison officers.

“We are looking for specific, collective inquiries that we can put to the state, the metropolitan area or anywhere in between to close gaps in the system and prevent people from falling through the cracks.” said Mayor Tim Keller. “I am confident that we are bringing the right people and institutions together to come up with actionable solutions, things that we can do now to support key stakeholders in the field of early intervention.”

The case study, which follows a young adult named Kelly as he moves through the local criminal justice system, provides a realistic situation for participants and provokes ideas of how the criminal justice system can address crime and its root causes differently. This session, which focused on early intervention, aimed to analyze how the behavioral health system works to combat crime factors. With the help of a facilitator, the session allowed participants to openly explore current early intervention efforts, obstacles and opportunities, and asked all participants for input on their thoughts and possible solutions.

“What we see in this case study is an individual at the most critical point in the intervention because if we get it right here we will eliminate all other steps.” said Max Kauffman, a New Mexico disability attorney. “Because of this, funding and human resource programs that provide trauma-informed peer support staff trained in de-escalation and relationship building are an immediate, impactful step we can take to address this critical point of intervention.”

“We know the snowball effect that often occurs at this early stage in crime cycles. This new department, Albuquerque Community Safety, is focused on stepping in and stopping this progress. ” said Mariela Ruiz-Angel, director of security for the Albuquerque Community. “When our behavioral health responders go into the field, their goal is to connect people with long-term services, but we need to have those services available when our responders make referrals and referrals. That means investing in providers and programs so we can create a stronger continuum of care that will help people thrive rather than survive. “

“At the moment we are in a different situation than we are used to, we have sufficient funds available to invest in things that we know will make a difference.” said the representative of the state of New Mexico, Moe Maestas. “We’ve done better documentation and data collection to quantify evidence-based programming, and now it’s time to invest in these proven programs, build capacity, and continue to serve a growing number of people in need.”

The full session can be viewed here.

The committee included representatives from:

  • Albuquerque City Council
  • Albuquerque Community Security Department
  • Albuquerque Police Department
  • Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services
  • Bernalillo County District Court
  • Bernalillo County District Court
  • Disability Rights New Mexico
  • New Mexico House of Representatives
  • New Mexico State Senate
  • Violence intervention program

The third session of the Metro Crime Initiative, which will address detention, distraction and hearings, will take place on Friday, August 13th at 2:30 pm. All sessions will be broadcast live on One Albuquerque Media, GOV-TV 16 YouTube.

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