ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a long-running problem, police not knowing the history of families when they’re dealing with child abuse cases. Now they have some help when they’re in the middle of what can be life or death situations for the children.
All Albuquerque Police officers responding to a call will now have access to a portal, so they know if CYFD has ever been involved with that family. The portal was unveiled in 2017, but officers have been training on the tool since April. State officials say it’s been a long time coming.
“Common sense isn’t always a common process. For the last eight years, the common practice hasn’t been practiced,” said Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales.
This has been in the works since kicking death of Omaree Varela in 2013 revealed a lack of communication between the two agencies. When police responded to a call at the home before Omaree was killed, they were unaware of the previous CYFD investigations into the family.
Now city and state officials say they’re hoping this new software will help prevent any future tragedies from happening.
Previous programs intended for this purpose were created for desktop only, making it impossible for officers to access it on their laptops in their patrol cars. News 13 asked why it has taken six years and a change in administrations for software like this to be used, they say it was a lack of collaboration and funding.
Since officers began training on the portal in April, CYFD has already seen more than $25,000 searches from APD related investigations. CYFD is currently working on making this portal available for all law enforcement agencies across the state.