ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the last two months, Albuquerque Police have been handing out more citations than normal to the homeless. Many of the citations are for blocking alleys or sidewalks.
Whether they’re on the sidewalk or in an alley, Charles Reedy of the Reedy Tire Company says he sees the homeless everywhere around his downtown business.
“We get panhandling. We actually find them sleeping on our property. We have to chase them off every morning,” he says.
The problem’s gotten so bad, Reedy has had to put his business up for sale after 35-years at the location near Second and Mountain.
“They have no regard for sanitation. They just go wherever they feel like it. It’s ridiculous,” he says.
When KRQE News 13 found close to a dozen citations relating to obstructing a sidewalk or alley within the last two months, with a number of them being in Reedy’s neighborhood, we asked Albuquerque Police if there was a reason for that.
“We do want to serve the business community as well. They don’t want people blocking their doors, blocking their foot traffic right there,” says Gilbert Gallegos with APD.
While police say there’s no extra push to cite the homeless, they do say giving citations is their last resort because they understand a fine would not solve the problem.
“Our preference is to get them to services and to work with them. Our officers understand all those things,” says Gallegos.
Police say the ones that are cited, are no strangers to officers.
“Officers know a lot of these individuals. They’ve dealt with them in the past, if they’re going to refuse obey or refuse to do what’s being asked of them, it will result in a citation,” says Gallegos.
It’s something business owners like Reedy say they appreciate when it comes to protecting their property.
“It’s an effort. They’re doing what they can,” he says.
APD says for the most part when officers offer services, it’s successful and citations are avoided. Police also say they have been working with business owners this past year to teach them how to de-escalate a situation without having to call the police.
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