ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As parents continue to struggle to send their kids to school after the mass shooting in Texas, the city of Albuquerque is working on a program to identify students with the highest risk for gun violence.

Albuquerque has been the scene of school shootings recently and now a violence intervention program in the city hopes to change that. The city’s Community Safety Department, which focuses more on a public health, non-law enforcement-led model, now has money to get the 18-month pilot program going at West Mesa High School. That’s the same school near where a student was shot and killed in February.


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“One of the limitations that West Mesa was seeing was that their consolers that are in school already and doing a wonderful job at primary prevention cannot always do that intensive work with the families at home,” said Gerri Bachicha, Albuquerque Community Safety Violence Intervention’s Deputy Director.

The program’s approach will focus on secondary intervention. “We are looking at students that will be returning from long-term suspension and expulsion to work with them maybe late summer into the new school year,” said Bachicha.

It will include an after-school program as well as a case manager who will handle any violent incidents that happen during the school year. The program’s success will be measured by looking at the number of long-term suspensions and explosions in the school. “There are existing safety factors already in the schools they just need a little help from us to bridge that out into the community,” said Bachicha.

The program is expected to cost close to $400,000. If it is successful, the city will implement it in other schools across the district.