Budget priorities include boosting park security

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city council is working on its budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and one big item on the list includes beefing up security at city parks.

Council President Pat Davis said there’s a new push to make city parks safer so more people can enjoy them. Last year, the department received $1.7 million for safety upgrades, including lighting and fencing.

A big chunk of the funding went to a pilot project that paid for both city security officers and overtime for APD officers to watch over the parks. Davis said the council wants a permanent budget addition to include adding more security officers solely to patrol the parks.

“What we’ve seen is city security officers and officers on overtime are able to have an impact in our parks, keep them a little cleaner, welcoming for kids especially as it gets dark late at night or early in the morning,” Davis explained. “We want more officers, we want more cameras, we want more tools to make our people feel safer.”

Big projects paid for with last year’s funding include fencing and an intrusion alarm at Los Altos park’s maintenance office where the city said it sees a lot of vandalism; new lights at Lassetter Park; and intrusion alarms and a planned surveillance system at Highland Pool.

As KRQE News 13 has reported, the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial Park is expected to add lighting and 10-foot tall fences. Most of that $1.7 million were one-time funding and it’s too soon to know how much the department will request this year.

City councilors will discuss and potentially vote on this and other budget items at their meeting on Monday to then send to the mayor. The mayor will then send the full budget proposal back to the city council on April 1.

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