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Albuquerque Will Send Social Workers Instead of Police on Certain 911 Calls

Albuquerque Will Send Social Workers Instead of Police on Certain 911 Calls

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced on Monday that the city will dispatch social workers rather than police on certain 911 calls, The Washington Post reports.

Keller announced that the city is creating a new public safety department that will respond to 911 calls related to mental health, addiction, inebriation, and homelessness.

The department will be made up of social workers, housing and homelessness counselors, and violence prevention coordinators.

“There is a huge portion of our community that doesn’t necessarily want two officers showing up when they call about a situation with respect to behavioral and mental health,” Keller said. “So this is a new path forward for us that has been illuminated because of what we’ve learned during these times. Look, there’s political will; there was not political will to make this huge of a step three weeks ago.”

San Francisco too:

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced last week that the city’s police department would no longer respond to noncriminal 911 calls.

"San Francisco has made progress reforming our police department, but we know that we still have significant work to do," Breed said in a statement. "We know that a lack of equity in our society overall leads to a lot of the problems that police are being asked to solve. We are going to keep pushing for additional reforms and continue to find ways to reinvest in communities that have historically been underserved and harmed by systemic racism."

The move is part of Breed’s police reform plan, which will be released in the upcoming months.

"Over the next year, the City will develop a systematic response plan to improve direct connection to community-based or City service providers," the statement said.

NYPD disbands controversial unit:

The New York Police Department disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit, which had about 600 officers, after Commissioner Dermot Shea said it was part of an outdated model that pits police against communities.

“This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the N.Y.P.D. polices this great city,” Shea said. “It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect… This is 21st-century policing. The key difference — we must do it in a manner that builds trust between the officers and the community they serve.”

The unit had been involved in many shootings. A 2018 review found that the unit was involved in 31% of fatal police shootings since 2000.