ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department says it is cleaning up crime on Central, but for some businesses, they say it is not enough. Friday, APD said a recent clean-up operation along the Central Corridor has helped clean up the street. They said this operation is a great start to a long-term solution. “We’re committed to cleaning up Central. You drive down Central at times and it’s just unreal the amount of individuals that are walking into traffic, using narcotics,” says APD Chief Harold Medina.
The Albuquerque Police Department said their latest efforts to clean up Central have been successful. They say they’ve been patrolling 98th Street all the way to Tramway Boulevard and tackling illegal activity including homeless encampments. APD said their patrols have resulted in 930 citations and 89 arrests in only one week.
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“For this being the first week of the operation as we left downtown, and we drove up Central. I looked around and I couldn’t believe it was the same Central that was here about a week ago. It’s not perfect but it is a lot more cleaner,” says Chief Medina.
However, one business owner said the operations are pushing the crime onto her street. Patti Garcia has owned a repair shop along Central and Tennessee for more than eleven years. She says the increasing crime is becoming too much to deal with. Garcia says she finds needles, trash, and even human feces in front of her business. One homeless camp even has live chickens walking around. “They trash our streets, they throw food over,” says Patti Garcia, owner of Duke City Auto Body.
She said it’s driving her clients away. She said the cleanup operations help but it’s only temporary and crime is back within hours. “This is a 24/7 job for us, having to move people along…and we walk up and down our sidewalks picking up after them,” says Garcia.
Garcia said even though the city and APD are trying to fix the issue, a better solution is needed to get rid of the problem and not just move it to another location.
Medina said the cleanup operation is also in partnership with ACS and the Solid Waste Department. They say the operations will continue until the end of the year. During the press conference, Medina also asked the state legislature for help, saying they need more resources to help people with substance abuse problems.