ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – September 2022 marks the one-year anniversary of Albuquerque’s new “third tier” of emergency response. The Albuquerque Community Safety Department, or ACS was first pitched in June 2020 amid a national conversation about the role of police departments in American society.

Billed by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller as a professional training civilian force with a “public health approach” to public safety, ACS now has dozens of unarmed social workers who respond to various behavioral health crises. The city said the team would likely respond to mental health, drug addiction, public inebriation, homelessness, “down-and-outs,” and other low-priority calls like abandoned cars and traffic management.

So what is the work ACS is doing? And how is it going? This week on KRQE’s New Mexico News Podcast, Director of ACS, Mariela Ruiz-Angel joins the conversation. Ruiz-Angel talks about the successes and challenges amid the first year of service, and what she thinks the department is headed.

As mentioned in the episode, Gabby profiled the work of the Albuquerque Community Safety Department earlier this year in May. For a look at that story, click this link to view it on

ACS keeps all of its data online, and it’s usually updated monthly. For a closer look, visit the ACS Transparency page on

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