Albuquerque to Deploy Unarmed Civilians to 911 Calls

By Faye Higbee

Albuquerque has created a new Community Safety Department that will deploy unarmed civilians to some specific 911 calls. What city leaders are overlooking is that sometimes – actually more often than not – what seems as a routine 911 call can be something else entirely. (The Hill)

The social workers will respond to inebriation, homelessness, addiction and mental health calls. The city believes that without the presence of an armed police officer, the situations might de-escalate.  Maybe that could happen on occasion.

It’s a nice idea. Very … kind. Just saving police for the violent stuff. Unless a call goes sideways and an unarmed civilian is caught in the middle of a cluster that they are not prepared to handle. Social workers are trained for certain things, but not to arrest a drunk person, or handle a half-crazed man on drugs. An unarmed civilian may not have time to casually call police if a person become hostile. You think it can’t happen? It happens all the time.

Twitter users responded:

“No, it’s not a good idea at all. When a few of these unarmed social workers get killed by a “non-violent” mental individual I’m sure he’ll reconsider especially when the city will be found negligent for putting employees in that position unable to protect themselves or others.”

“Makes perfect sense to me to send an unarmed social worker into an unknown, possibly volatile situation.”

“Best way to lower crime in the city is stop voting democrats into office.”

“I was a social worker for a bit. There’s no way In Hell I’d put myself in the middle of these potentially dangerous situations.”

“Good luck! More government red tape. Just another way to use more taxpayer money so they will claim they need more, and more….and citizens’ safety will suffer. But they don’t care.”

“This should end quickly once the first social worker gets killed.”

“As a retired cop I can say that every cop knows there is no such thing as a “routine call”. 911 calls don’t always fit into neat little boxes. They often end up being something drastically different than the initial call. Sending “social workers” is risking lives!” @GeraldHawkins3

My point exactly, Mr Hawkins.

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