Virtual event: Mayors Roundtable on Alternative Response & Reimagining Policing

Wednesday, June 28, 2023. – This event has already occurred.

View the recording

Across the country, cities are working to implement public safety systems that provide safer, more effective, and more equitable outcomes. In doing so, they confront a key challenge: we ask police to do too much, often responding to situations for which they are untrained or unprepared. Alternative response models – which either replace or pair traditional police officers with those trained in mental health and trauma informed response – are one approach to begin to address this challenge and to deliver better outcomes for all.

This session is intended for mayors, their staff, and public safety professionals in cities.

Presented by the Mayors Innovation Project and Reimagining Public Safety (a project of the Policing Project at NYU School of Law) this event will present information on alternative response models informed by NYU’s extensive quantitative and qualitative research on cities doing this work across the country, and dig into the challenges and opportunities that have refined and informed the approach in Albuquerque, NM and Brooklyn Park, MN.

Our speakers:

Tyeesha Dixon, Senior Advisor for Reimagining & Reform, Policing Project at NYU School of Law

Dixon works with numerous law enforcement agencies and academia to advance public safety reform and alternatives to traditional policing through the lens of equity and constitutional policing. Among other engagements, Dixon serves as an associate monitor for the federal monitoring team overseeing the Baltimore Police Department’s compliance with their reform plan, and is the Senior Advisor for Civic Engagement for the buildout of the University of Chicago Crime Lab’s Police Leadership Academy. She is also a clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic. Dixon holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland.

Timothy Keller, Mayor, City of Albuquerque, NM

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Mayor Keller’s leadership is centered around the “One Albuquerque” unity vision, a clarion call honoring the city’s diverse heritage and championing residents from all walks of life. In his second term as the 82nd selected leader, 31st Mayor of Albuquerque, he deeply believes in the power we all have to lift up our city, despite our challenges. Tim’s zeal for public service comes from his willingness to challenge the status quo and his track record for having real impact. From State Senator, to his role as Senate Majority Whip, to New Mexico State Auditor, to Mayor of Albuquerque, he has tackled some of the biggest issues facing Albuquerque and New Mexico, including redefining emergency response by creating nationally recognized Community Safety Department sending trained professionals to non-violent 911 calls, ensuring the right response to calls for mental health, substance use, and homelessness — and freeing up police to focus on crime.

Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Director, Community Safety Department, Albuquerque, NM

Mariela Ruiz-Angel brings her experience from both the mental and behavioral health industry and local government to the role of Director of the Albuquerque Community Safety Department. Ruiz-Angel has an extensive background in social work, program development, and corporate customer relations and management. Ruiz-Angel has served two Albuquerque Mayors in multiple start up programs including AmeriCorps and youth workforce development. She spent 5 years creating and managing the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs before becoming the founding Director of the Community Safety Department in June 2020. In her new role, Ruiz-Angel is working to ensure that the department follows through with its mission of advocating and promoting a citywide culture that values the voices of all residents. Ruiz-Angel holds a Master of Social Work in Leadership and Administration and a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources from New Mexico Highlands University.

Hollies Winston, Mayor, Brooklyn Park, MN 

Hollies Winston was elected as the City of Brooklyn Park’s first Black mayor in 2022. As Mayor, Winston has prioritized public safety, public health, transportation and equal access to opportunities for all residents. The new Alternative Response team, the first of its kind in Minnesota, is a collaborative effort of the City, Hennepin County, and other local agencies, and pairs social workers and paramedics to respond to non-violent calls.