Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez announces $2M Grant to the Albuquerque Community Safety Department and its Violence Intervention Program

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded a $2,050,000.00 grant to the Albuquerque Community Safety Department and its Violence Intervention Program as part of the Byrne Discretionary Grant Program, which assists local communities in improving the capacity of local justice systems and provides for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs.

 “Everyone deserves to feel safe our community,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “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.”

"We know that by sending our responders out into the community and meeting people where they are, we can interrupt cycles of violence and ultimately change lives for the better," said Mayor Tim Keller. "This investment in ACS's Violence Intervention Program helps address violence at its root and is an important piece of our multifaceted approach to reducing violent crime."

“We thank the Department of Justice for investing in the next phase of Community Safety and Violence Intervention in the City of Albuquerque,” said ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel. “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."

Beginning as a community-led initiative, Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS) is a cabinet-level public safety department, meaning they operate independently from and in collaboration with the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue. The department launched on September 8, 2021, and provides crisis aid, welfare checks, and referrals for people in need. ACS responders also offer transportation to providers of mental health, addiction, shelter, and case management services.

The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) is a gun violence reduction program that focuses on those at the highest risk of becoming part of the gun violence cycles in the City. VIP Program implementation began in late March 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. The first year was a pilot year where multiple components were implemented. Components encompass a public health approach to gun violence reduction and a focused deterrence law enforcement approach to gun violence. VIP currently falls under Albuquerque Community Safety’s Violence Prevention and Intervention Division.     

ACS and VIP will use the discretionary earmark funding to expand the scope of these programs. This will enhance service in violence prevention, intervention, and support within Albuquerque. In addition to an expansion of the existing work, this funding can help with exploring the establishment of an Office of Violence Prevention for the City of Albuquerque.

In exploring the establishment of an Office of Violence Prevention, the goal would be to bring together numerous programs in a highly effective way. Included within a possible Office could be the Violence Intervention Program, a School-Based Violence Intervention Program, Trauma Recovery Center, Community Oriented Response Assistance, an Opioid Prevention Program, and a possible Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program. This would be modeled after successful Offices in other areas, such as Newark and Philadelphia, but made unique to Albuquerque.

The ultimate goal is to combine assertive outreach, advocacy, evidence-based mental health services, and comprehensive case management specific to the person or the community. Through a diverse staff, ACS and VIP will be able to better support individuals who have been victims of violence, physical assault, sexual assault, opioid abuse, domestic violence, and more.



Updated August 16, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-184