Mayor Keller and Chief Medina Shine a Spotlight State-of-the-Art Crisis Intervention Unit
Posted By: ABQRAW Staff
Posted On: 11/07/2023 @ 5:30PM
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On November 7th, 2023, Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina showcased the exceptional efforts of APD's Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), which tackles challenging behavioral health cases daily. This specialized team of detectives takes a proactive approach to help community members facing mental health crises. Their primary goal is to prioritize treatment over violence when dealing with crisis situations. They achieve this by collaborating with local clinicians from institutions like Presbyterian, UNMH, and the VA hospital, tailoring resources to individual needs.
Mayor Tim Keller highlights how the CIU's proactive work ensures that individuals in mental crisis have access to vital resources when they encounter law enforcement. Keller said, “the goal is to prevent a tragedy that may be triggered by a mental health emergency.”
CIU detectives follow up with those who have received hospital assistance or pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. They maintain a partnership with clinicians, ensuring client/provider confidentiality and working towards reducing the stigma surrounding mental health crises.
Chief Harold Medina stresses that the crisis doesn't end when individuals reach the hospital, underscoring the importance of detectives' follow-up work in establishing essential resource connections.
APD said that they stand out as one of the few police departments in the state that employs the state's Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order law, known as the Red Flag law. APD also claims that they have used the Red Flag law 20 times to restrict firearm access for individuals in mental health crises, potentially saving lives and promoting long-term treatment.
Moreover, the CIU assists individuals with substance abuse issues and job skill development, aiming to reduce interactions with law enforcement and the judicial system for those facing mental health crises. APD's ultimate mission is to connect individuals with the support they need, fostering a more compassionate and resource-oriented approach.