ACS reports 94% success rate in Violence Intervention Program

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Community Safety, also known as ACS, was created two years ago. Since then, ACS has expanded with several different proactive programs and the data is showing progress.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes, you know, it started off with a handful of really committed people and we’re excited to have dozens, many, pushing probably about 100 now of committed people, doing the swing shift, doing the graveyard shift, new programs throughout our community,” said Jeffrey Bustamante, ACS deputy director of Violence Prevention and Intervention.

ACS helps the Albuquerque Police Department respond to calls that don’t immediately require force, like mental health crises or cases of drug abuse. Bustamante says ACS has evolved to work proactively too.

“We have programs from our field response, people who are responding to 911 and 311 calls, to also our violence prevention,” Bustamante said. “So we have a Violence Intervention Program, one in a school out at West Mesa, we also have our opioid education and prevention program, trying to remove people from cycles of opioid abuse, and our community team.”

The VIP program works with APD and focuses on targeted intervention for those who are most likely to be involved in gun violence.

ACS data shows the number of people engaged in August this year was 18, compared to 13 last year. A person “engaged” means they have been connected with resources they need and are getting that help.

Overall, this year, the VIP program has a 94% success rate – meaning 94% of participants haven’t engaged in any new crimes. That’s up from 92% this time last year.

Bustamante says ACS is still growing and looking to expand VIP, as well as other programs.