Mobile crisis units debut - Albuquerque Journal

Mobile crisis units debut

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

The first of four mobile crisis teams – new, multi-agency teams to help people with mental illnesses where appropriate, instead of sending them into the criminal justice system – goes live today.

Teams will consist of a law enforcement officer and a social worker with a master’s degree. Albuquerque police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office will assign two officers to the beat.

The county has one mobile crisis team that will start responding to calls for service today, and the county’s other team and two teams with Albuquerque police officers are finishing on-the-job training, BCSO Capt. Craig Sevier said.

The teams will take over calls for service involving people with mental illnesses when police determine there is no immediate threat of injury.

Such calls are common. Albuquerque police and the BCSO responded to more than 13,000 priority-one and -two calls involving people with a mental illness from Sept. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, according to a report that Peter Winograd, a policy analyst, prepared for the county’s behavioral health project coordinator.

“Once the scenes are made safe, the clinician can make an assessment and (the team) can make a determination if diversion from the criminal justice system … is a possible solution for that person’s crisis,” Sevier said.

At the launch of the program, the teams are going to be in unmarked vehicles and wearing what police call a soft uniform, which means they will be in plainclothes but identifiable as law enforcement.

Similar programs have found success at police agencies across the country, said Katrina Hotrum, the county’s behavioral health director.

Multiple agencies throughout the county have been working for years at improving interactions between law enforcement and mentally ill people. Adding more training for officers to achieve better outcomes during those interactions is a significant aspect of an ongoing police reform effort by Albuquerque police.

The pilot project will be funded with a behavioral health tax that went into effect in July 2015.

Hotrum said the Institute for Social Research at the University of New Mexico will analyze data to see what effects the mobile teams have in the city.

Officers assigned to the teams received extensive crisis intervention training.

The teams will be multi-jurisdictional and can respond anywhere throughout the county.

The city and county made a joint announcement of the pilot project last May.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Mobile crisis units debut

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

Candies, cookies, cakes and more always welcome at holidays
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Journal Staff WriterChocolate – ... Journal Staff WriterChocolate – some say it's the gift from gods. ...
Shiny & Bright: Add a little sparkle to the ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
The holiday season can be such ... The holiday season can be such a bright and shiny time of the year, so giving a little something sim ...
Feather a nest: Home gifts range from practical to ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
As winter's chill frosts the city, ... As winter's chill frosts the city, nestling at home by a cozy fire seems like the obvious choice.

Home for the holidays: Local shops offer gift options ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
"Oh, there's no place like home ... "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays."The sentiment rings true for many si ...
A little pampering: Day spa packages are a ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
When adults reach a certain age, ... When adults reach a certain age, it becomes difficult to shop for them, especially if they come in p ...
Gadgets & gizmos: Sales and deals make big-ticket items ...
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
With the holidays right around the ... With the holidays right around the corner, it is almost time to finalize those shopping lists. ...
Hawaii's Mauna Loa erupts, officials warn people to prepare
ABQnews Seeker
The world's largest active volcano was ... The world's largest active volcano was erupting Monday and wasn't immediately threatening communities on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials warned residents to be ready ...
US stock indexes fall as lockdown protests spread in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street ... Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street as protests spread in China calling for President Xi Jinping to step down amid growing anger over severe ...
Water boil order issued for more than 2 million ...
ABQnews Seeker
HOUSTON (AP) -- More than 2 ... HOUSTON (AP) -- More than 2 million people in the Houston area were under a boil order notice Monday after a power outage at ...