ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A quiet neighborhood still reeling from a random murder earlier this week just got some backup.
“We’re going to come into the neighborhood and try to start building everyone’s trust in the community,” said Officer Charles Breeden with APD’s Mounted Patrol Unit.
On Tuesday morning, police say the 55-year-old mother of two State Police officers, Jacqueline Vigil, was killed in a random, botched robbery in her own driveway.
“You should feel safe and be safe in your own driveway,” said Breeden.
On day one of patrols, the clicking of the massive draft horse’s hooves regularly brought people out of their homes.
“It’s very enlightening and nice to see officers in our streets. I thought you guys would only be in parks and now you’re in my community, what a blessing,” said Carlos McMahon, who lives in the area.
Officers will be keeping an extra eye out for people or things that look suspicious or out of place.
“The bad guys see us, they’re going to leave the area,” said Breeden.
However, they also have a larger goal.
“This is something we felt like was necessary for us to come into this community and be a piece of the solution, trying to get them to be comfortable living in their community again,” said Breeden.
On Friday, the officers listened to call kinds of concerns and problems neighbors are dealing with, everything from speeding to more serious crimes.
“My wife said, ‘What if that would’ve been me?” said McMahon.
“In light of what happened, my recommendation is to tell your wife to pay attention to your surroundings,” said Breeden.
Even during what’s been a hard week, many neighbors were genuinely happy to see the mounted patrol unit.
“I’m really excited to see you guys here,” said Olivia Arevalo, who lives in the area.
And, they’re looking forward to having them in the neighborhood.
“It made me feel good,” said McMahon.
The mounted patrol unit plans on being in the neighborhood for at least the next few weeks.
They usually patrol downtown, the Central corridor and local malls.