New program to change law enforcement response to mental health calls

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new program is changing the way law enforcement officials in Albuquerque respond to mental health calls.

As part of the pilot program, mobile crises teams — in addition to officers — will start responding to calls where someone is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, but is not violent.

The teams will consist of a deputy or officer specially trained in mental health response and a behavioral health clinician.

“So we can engage with folks in crisis. Hopefully engage with them. Have a clinician deescalate the situation and provide services in their home, where they’re safe and comfortable in a home setting,” said Margarita Chavez, Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Initiative.

Bernalillo County is contributing $1 million and the City of Albuquerque is giving more than $456,000 to create the teams. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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