ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police said nothing good can come from being at a city park after dark. That’s exactly why they’re stepping up patrols in those areas.
The city’s parks close around 10 p.m., but that hasn’t stopped people from breaking that rule. Now, Albuquerque police are trying to put an end to it.
People enjoy getting out and spending their days at Albuquerque parks. But as soon as the sun sets, people should be heading home.
“I’m never here that late,” said local Francisco Jon. “I leave around 6:30 p.m. no more than that.”
But APD said oftentimes, homeless and others stick around after dark doing drugs and camping out.
“Kind of scary, you have kids that like to come and be out of the house, but you can’t really enjoy it because you don’t know what these people are capable of,” said local Tiffany Perea.
Albuquerque police said they hear neighbor’s concerns.
“We’re not doing just 24/7 calls for service,” said APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos.
APD said as they add more officers to the department, they’re able to do more patrols at problem areas, which include parks at night.
“We’re seeing a lot, too much drug use at parks, especially after hours,” said Gallegos.
Within the past two weeks, they’ve been tackling this issue by citing people who aren’t supposed to be here. So far, handing out nearly a dozen citations.
“What we want to do is really go after them, and if they’re just there after hours, we can either get them out of there or cite them. But, more importantly, they’re not doing any dangerous drugs or putting people in harm’s way,” said Gallegos.
For these daytime park goers, this type of enforcement is encouraging to hear.
“Just keep up the good work with what they’re doing already,” said Perea.
Monday night at Wells Park, officers found four people sleeping right under a “No Trespassing” sign. APD said three of them had warrants and one had meth on them. If someone is cited for being in a park after hours, they could spend 90 days in jail and can be fined $500.