Albuquerque To Begin Replacing Some Police with Unarmed Social Workers
Unarmed social workers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will now respond to specific 911 calls instead of the police department, the city’s mayor announced Monday.
Democratic Mayor Tim Keller announced the creation of Albuquerque Community Safety, which will serve alongside the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Department, as a “first-of-its-kind” department to respond to calls on inebriation, homelessness, addiction and mental health.
“The department will give 9-1-1 dispatch an option when a community safety response is more appropriate than a paramedic, fire-fighter, or armed police officer,” according to the city’s media release.
The creation of the new department is the result of two years of work to transform Albuquerque’s approach to public safety.
“While many cities are only now waking up to these issues, Albuquerque is well into its police reform process and we decided to tackle these tough questions head on when we took office,” Keller said.
“For years, we’ve heard the public calling for a better solution for de-escalation and more officers for community policing, and we have been listening.
“It’s time we stop asking officers to do everything, and time we get people the help they need instead of sending armed officers to knock on their door.”
He added that the creation of the community safety department will “deliver a civilian public health approach to public safety.”
“We want to send the right resource to the right call — especially where a social worker or trained professional can connect people with the services they need, instead of simply taking folks to jail or the hospital, which have been the only choices until now,” Keller said.
A spokesperson for the mayor told The Washington Post that the new department was part of the city’s response to the “defund the police” movement that has gained traction following the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.
“We’ve placed more and more issues on the plates of officers who are not trained — despite their best efforts and despite some training — they’re not totally trained to be a social worker, or to be an addiction counselor, or to deal with things around child abuse when they’re just answering a call,” Keller said at a news conference Monday.
“We should have trained professionals do this, instead of folks with a gun and a badge.”
Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier told The Post that his officers were “relieved” by the news of the creation of the new community safety department.
“This is the solution” to overburdened police departments across the country, he said.
Here is the problem:
- Social workers in every city, due to city cuts, are overwhelmed already with caseloads, now they want them to go out, deal with the public, with no control, and this is going to aid in their overload, in what way? Unless the city is willing to expand their employment of social workers, this is doomed to overwhelm them more so then they are already.
- You are sending these people into situations that can quickly escalate out of control, do this with them not being armed, what do they do when a drunk turns violent, or maybe someone undergoing mental issues?
- Sending a social worker with a police officer, I can understand that, but this is placing these people under significant threat, what is going to happen when some of the social workers after dealing with assaults, rapes, and murders, they quit going out on calls due to the dangers there.
Our system is set up where police, who are armed, able legally to protect themselves, they come to these situations. They can restrain or at least contain these people, are able to control the case, then bring them to these social workers when the person is under control, the situation does not have the danger that comes with them being dealt with in the streets. Yet this is what the liberal progressive movers are pushing these cities towards.
Criminals and people that experience mental problems, not all of them, but enough of them that there is an inherited problem with this, they don’t care about what is legal or not, if you come up to them unarmed, they know you are and can escalate the situation until it is dangerous for someone without the ability to defend themselves.
This is just another knee jerk reaction, as the arrest of the officer in Atlanta who shot a man who beat up him and his partner, took his taser and was shot when he ran firing the taser at them. We are seeing emotions are ruling the left’s thought process. By freezing the hands of the police, they are putting them in an impossible position.
Sadly, this nation right now is being ruled by a domestic terrorist group. This group has made a living off of claims of victimization, that would be Black Lives Matter, sooner or later this nation is going to have to stop this nonsense, classify this group as a domestic terrorist group and stop the rule of law being overrun by the control of the mindless masses.