Albuquerque increasing security in city parks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - The City of Albuquerque is ramping up security to keep parks across the city clean and safe. Officials say money for new safety measures will be available in just a few weeks. 

Parks and Recreation officials say every park across the city has its own set of issues, but they are hoping to address most, if not all of them. 

Monday through Friday Bel-Air Park is just one of many parks across Albuquerque where kids can come and get a free lunch.

"Adults that are on site with the kids clean up before the kids even show up," said Parks and Recreation Director David Simon. 

It's also just one of many Albuquerque parks with a reputation for a large homeless population. 

"They come in here with their syringes the kids can't even play in the park," said resident Robert Lucero .

However, park officials say they are taking actions to make this park -- and every other park in the city -- a little safer. 

"In some cases, it may be a physical improvement to the park, in other cases like Bel-Air we are looking at raising a wall to add some safety to the park. Other parks such as Lavaland, we're looking at a new fence there, but every park is different," Simon said.

Last month, the city council approved $114,000 for mobile security cameras in parks and also $100,000 for park security. Officials say that money would pay for park patrols, more lighting and even fencing depending on the park's need. 

"I feel good about it. It will make a difference. It will keep them out of there," Lucero said.

It's a change city officials hope will keep parks full of the right kind of activities. 

"Parks are really fundamental to our quality of life in the city and they should be places where families can go and have fun," Simon said.

Parks and Recreation officials will have access to the money on July 1, when the new fiscal year begins, and plan to start fixing the problems immediately.

The city has not said how many parks will get the mobile security cameras. It will be done on a case by case basis.


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