ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The relatively new Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS) has just been awarded a bit over $2 million from the U.S. Department of Justice. The funds will go toward the Violence Intervention Program.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our community,” U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez said in a press release. “With this funding, the Violence Intervention Program will intervene to address root causes of the violence which has plagued our streets. By centering the safety of those who are most at risk of shooting and being shot, we make the community safer for us all. To those young men in our community who are spiraling out of control, trapped in a world of hatred and fear: We want you to be safe, alive, and free, but the shooting must stop. We will help you if you let us and stop you if you make us.”

ACS has been working to help address social, health, and crime issues across the city since it was launched in 2021. The department focuses on public health and safety, allowing the Albuquerque Police Department to focus on crime.

ACS’s Violence Intervention Program aims to reduce gun violence. The program works with Albuquerque Police to conduct reviews of shooting incidents and identify those community members most at risk for being involved in gun violence.

The new grant of federal funding will be used to continue that work and might be used to help establish a dedicated Office of Violence Prevention in Albuquerque, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

“We thank the Department of Justice for investing in the next phase of Community Safety and Violence Intervention in the City of Albuquerque,” ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel said in a press release. “By expanding that work, and exploring how we can grow our Division of Violence Prevention and Intervention, we will build upon our work to break cycles of violence in our community and schools.”