City breaks ground on new ACS headquarters in International District

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The City of Albuquerque broke ground on the new headquarters of the Albuquerque Community Safety Hub. 

KOB 4 spoke to one neighbor who says he’s excited about the rejuvenation of the area. 

“It was kind of disheartening for quite a while. I mean, you can tell by vacant lots around here,” said Don Meaders.

Meaders has lived in southeast Albuquerque for 25 years, and recently he’s seen this vacant lot get a new life. 

ACS was created to help with callouts for mental health crises and other issues.

“I think ACS is a wonderful, wonderful addition to the city’s fire department, the police department, and ACS because the police were asked to do way too much. They were asked to respond to stuff that they aren’t really trained for, or not really equipped for, but the ACS takes a lot of burden off the police department,” said Meaders. 

ACS officials say they chose Kathryn and San Mateo because the International District is historically underserved. 

Walter Adams says connecting with the community is crucial to ACS.

“It’s good to be part of this community, especially here in the southeast. We’re very familiar with it because it does have the highest call volume. But it also gives the- an opportunity that I don’t think a lot of other people had to get to know these individuals,” said Walter Adams Jr. an ACS Behavioral Health supervisor.  

The new headquarters will cost about $9.2 million, with funds coming from general obligation bonds. It will house training facilities and offices for staff, and a community courtyard. 

The International District Harvest Market will also continue to develop next door.

“We’re just really excited to have an opportunity and a space to bring local entrepreneurs that live in this area a space to start, stay, and grow their business for community,” said Alex Horton, the International District Community Development Corporation executive director. 

Meaders says this is a step in the right direction to help Albuquerque’s homelessness crisis.

“Let’s let’s try to be good citizens to the rest of our citizens, those are all citizens too,” said Meaders. 

Construction is expected to be done around Spring 2024.