ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday evening, Mar. 22, Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS) held a graduation ceremony for eight responders who recently graduated from the ACS Academy. Through the academy, responders go through four weeks of in-class training, followed by four weeks of on-the-job training.

With the new graduating class, the number of ACS responders and supervisors is now up to 55 people. The new responders will help ACS take more 311 and 911 calls – easing the workload on Albuquerque police.

“Our goal is to recruit and train in a way that emphasizes service, compassion, and community healing,” says Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. “Because of this, our Responders are able to be the catalyst for change in the lives of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis, that includes homelessness.”