ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in downtown Albuquerque are tired of the crime and now even an old institution is trying a new way to handle it.
The church said it’s had security problems in the past, one church member even saying an outside sculpture got tagged. Now it’s saying enough.
It recently made requests to the City’s Planning and Zoning Department to build a fence along Copper Avenue and part of Sixth Street.
“It doesn’t surprise me, you know it’s a shame. But, that’s what today society has unfortunately brought us,” said Tom Docherty, owner and chef of Cafe Lush, which sits just behind the church.
It’s a problem he understands.
“We’ve had issues in the past,” he said. “We’ve also had them break into our bathrooms, I’ve had to put a security door on one of our bathrooms, I’ve had to replace the other bathroom doors.”
The Silver Platinum Downtown Neighborhood Association said a lot of zoning requests in that neighborhood are presented to them too. According to the neighborhood association’s president, it’s seen about six requests for a wall or gate in the area in the last four months.
“If it’s not a wall, it’s a gate that they want to put up. they just want people to stop breaking into their buildings,” said Ron “RC” Casias, president of the neighborhood association said.
He wants more police patrolling downtown to change that. The Albuquerque Police Department does have ten officers and two sergeants dedicated to downtown patrolling as part of it’s Downtown Public Safety District, created in 2018.
“We called up the police and they’ve stepped up their bicycle patrol in the area. They’ve been good at that,” Docherty said. “I see the bikes around, they’re here, they’re presence is known and it’s been slowly improving. I mean we still see it (crime).”
Neighbors hope if the crime rates go down, the fences will too.
“We’re not about building walls, we want people to come out here and experience a beautiful downtown Albuquerque,” said Casias.