Albuquerque, New Mexico, will establish a new civilian public safety department to replace police in responding to non-violent 911 calls, Mayor Tim Keller announced Monday. The Albuquerque Community Safety Department would handle calls relating to issues such as addiction, homelessness, and mental health instead of armed police officers. Millions of dollars will be reallocated from the police budget to fund the new department. The decision comes as the country closes its third week of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody. “As we know and as we’ve seen with protesters in the past few weeks, a uniform police presence isn’t always the best option if the goal is to de-escalate a situation,” Albuquerque Police Department southeast area commander Johnny Yarra said.
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