ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While several groups fight to keep a city-sanctioned homeless camp away from their neighborhood, one is taking matters into its own hands. They are increasing security to help combat the issues they’ve faced.
“We have to be on guard every minute of the day,” said Sunset Memorial Park Manager Josh Glass.
Sunset Memorial Park would be next-door neighbors with the city’s proposed ‘Safe Outdoor Space’ off of the Menaul and I-25 corridor.
“We’re responsible for all the contents, all the folks that are entombed in there,” said Glass.
Glass said the park and six other associations have joined together to appeal the city-sanctioned homeless camp.
“We feel that this neighborhood the Martinez-Town, Santa Barbara neighborhoods, as well as this entire corridor most of the homeless services are in this area,” said Glass.
He said this area has a large homeless population with many issues already.
“Why the city would spend so much money in redeveloping this area that’s, quite frankly, been traumatized by the transients that live around here to just invite more into the neighborhood,” said Glass.
Because of that, the cemetery has to step away from its original job titles and focus on the task at hand.
“Enhancing the services that we provide for the families, providing a better service for them when they are here, and we’ve kinda moved from that which is really where our passion is,” said Glass. “To more protecting the families and keeping the transients out of the park.”
To combat the homeless issue, they are adding more security around the park. The cemetery has started installing in a new six-foot iron fence as well as nighttime vision security cameras.
“We are encumbering massive expenses here at the park, and we’re a non-for-profit organization, and cemeteries don’t operate with, you know, large budgets,” said Glass.
Unfortunately, after multiple break-ins and trash left behind, like used needles, aluminum foil, spoons, and human waste left all over the grounds, extra security has become a necessity.
“Those are the things that we have to do to keep our families safe and to keep us safe and make sure the park is a beautiful place for people to come and visit for generations to come,” said Glass.
He hopes the city will take note that this area is already overwhelmed.
“We’ve done our part. We’ve done enough, and we need a break,” said Glass.