ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It appears the city may be stepping up its efforts to clear out homeless camps throughout city parks. Many Albuquerque residents expressed concerns over the growing problem, saying they fear for their safety.
“I don’t go to the park by myself. I would go with my husband or with another person at least, but I won’t walk in the park by myself, because you just don’t know,” said Albuquerque resident, Jonel Crockett.
Robinson park, one of several parks across the city experiencing encampments, has shopping carts, overflowing trash bins, and several people wandering about who’ve made it their home. Online court documents from October show over a dozen violations issued across several parks for people sleeping on park grounds after it’s already closed.
Records show one person was issued violations twice in 12 days for sleeping in at Bel Air Park on Phoenix Avenue, near Menaul and Carlisle with three violations written to people over a three-day period.
While there are not many, people who live near Bel-Air Park said they are glad to see their neighborhood coming back little by little.
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“This summer, they’ve increased patrols, and they try to clear them out, but two years ago, every morning I’d wake up, and there’d be 15 tents showing up. They’re stepping up, I must admit, and it’s not as it was two summers ago,” said one resident.
Tuesday, Bel-Air Park had one person camping in it. During a virtual town hall meeting in August, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller addressed tackling homelessness at parks.
KRQE reached out to the city to see if this was a concentrated effort to patrol city parks for anyone in them after hours but did not hear back.