ALBUQUERQUE — The Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department announced Thursday that hundreds of APD officers and civilian employees have been trained to use a portal that shows CYFD history and involvement with families.
The information can be helpful during law enforcement investigations.
This information was already available to officers by calling the CYFD Statewide Central Intake or working with case workers or other CYFD staff.
Thursday marked the completion of training for more than 800 officers and civilian specialists with APD. CYFD has already seen more than 25,000 searches from APD related to investigations. The portal shows officers basic information on CYFD’s involvement with families, including whether CYFD has history with a family, any prior adjudication, and contact information for current CYFD staff involved in a case.
“This streamlined portal of information is meant to help any trained law enforcement personnel approach investigations with more information and allows them to make better decisions when approaching a family,” CYFD Deputy Secretary Terry Locke said. “Our hope is to prevent creating unnecessary additional trauma on a family that may have police contact.”
CYFD is training other law enforcement and judicial agencies statewide. To date, more than 25 agencies across the state have signed agreements with the department to access the portal. APD, serving most of Bernalillo County, has the largest number of officers and covers the highest of number of children in foster care.
Mayor Tim Keller announced last year that APD would train additional officers to use the CYFD portal, in keeping with recommendations from a 2014 task force that had not previously been implemented. Today he stated, “With this training, our officers have direct access to a tool that helps bring more information to light as we work to keep kids safe. Each of us in government, law enforcement and the community has a role to play to change outcomes in kids’ lives. We’re stepping up and working with our partners so APD officers can be more informed when they are having some of the most critical interactions that they have in our community.”
I am proud of the relationship we have developed with CYFD and all of our partners. Protecting children has to be the top priority for everyone in the state.”
Implementation of the law enforcement portal with APD began in April. Both APD and CYFD used the opportunity to train more than 800 officers as a conduit for better communication between the departments. Once trained, officers immediately get access to use the portal in the field.
CYFD Director of Law Enforcement Margaret Aragon de Chavez said, “We have reached a milestone by getting so many APD officers trained in the Law Enforcement Portal. We will continue to work with law enforcement agencies across the state to ensure that all officers that want this training will receive it.”