Albuquerque leaders seek funding to expand Violence Intervention Program
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Yet another student was shot and killed on an APS campus this weekend. Witnesses told police the students were playing with guns in the parking lot Friday evening when one went off, killing another student.
“No one wants to, you know, think about their school and think about the fact that there may be access to guns or kids with guns in their car at their school, but I think we can all agree and understand that is a reality,” Mayor Tim Keller said.
The Albuquerque Community Safety department has implemented the Violence Intervention Program, or VIP, at West Mesa and Robert F. Kennedy High School to reduce gun and gang violence.
“The Violence Intervention Program brings together two things, the identification of that at-risk child, and that’s done through APS as standard methodology, and then having a separate program for those children, where they can get direct mentorship from someone with lived experience,” Keller said.
The day before the deadly shooting, ACS pitched expanding the VIP program into more APS schools. So far, the program has seen success at West Mesa High School, where multiple students involved have seen greater academic success and fewer behavioral problems.
City officials are asking the Legislature to help fund their effort to expand the program to all 16 APS high schools. They estimate it would cost around $1.8 million.