ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The International District will soon have a Public Safety Department building moving into the neighborhood.  

Saturday, the Albuquerque Community Safety Department held its groundbreaking ceremony and revealed the plans for its new headquarters. 

“This new space to me represents the beginning of a beautiful relationship in this district. It represents the community, it’s meant to be a hub for sanctuary,” said Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Director of Albuquerque Community Safety Department. 

Albuquerque Community Safety focuses on responding to issues like homelessness, substance abuse, and behavioral health crises. 

Saturday morning, they celebrated the groundbreaking for their new building, in the heart of San Mateo. 

“Nothing has happened on this lot for so long and we were actually the first group to do something on it,” said International District Community Development Corporation Executive Director Alex Horton. 

Officials said this area has the highest call volume for ACS and APD. 

The new headquarters will be 10,000 square feet and is estimated to cost more than nine million dollars to build. 

“When we invest in things that are making the southeast better, then we’ll see that ripple effect across our whole entire county,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa.

ACS said the new building will have office space that can be used by the public for safety trainings or community events. The construction is expected to be done by next spring. 

The groundbreaking also lined up with the launch of the International District Market season. Multiple local vendors and food trucks came to celebrate the event. 

Alex Horton helped bring the market to the area and said having ACS in the neighborhood has made a big difference.  

“It’s been amazing, right? You see their cars out, they’re helping with homeless encampments, they’re trying to get resources to unsheltered individuals, to businesses that are needing help. It’s just been a really good joy to see,” said Horton. 

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ACS said they’re also looking into acquiring vacant police and fire stations, such as Albuquerque Fire Rescue Station 14. The substations would be used to set up smaller ACS responders throughout the city.