Why Albuquerque's latest experiment in policing doesn't involve officers

Albuquerque established a new city department, Albuquerque Community Safety, that handles some of the 200,000 calls to 911 every year for a range of low-level, non-violent problems that don't require a police response. Since its launch in August 2021, the department has fielded just two teams of behavioral health specialists on call during the day. The city plans to expand the team's hours and responsibilities, though some are uneasy about exposing the unarmed workers to the potential for violence. The city has a long history of police shootings of mentally ill people, and ACS is meant to curb that threat.

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