During the day, city parks are a place for kids to play and families to gather. But when the sun goes down, city officials say they often become a hot spot for crime. Los Altos is one example. Last July, News 13 reported the story of a boy who’d been shot in the head at the skate park. One month later, a man was intentionally run over by a car. At the same park, homeless camps pop up as quickly as the park can tear them down.
These kinds of problems are not unique to Los Altos, they’re seen at parks across the city. That’s why the city is proposing to invest nearly $350,000 in park security in the upcoming fiscal year. “That’s actually six new positions dedicated to parks through city security,” said Mark Chavez, the Associate Director of the Albuquerque Parks and Rec Department.
Security will be responsible for enforcing curfew at parks like Bullhead, by locking the gates to the parking lot. “When we clear a park, it’s better to have a uniformed person clear that park and close the gate for us,” said Chavez. They’ll also monitor certain parks. The city says a small portion of the $348,000 will also go toward paying APD overtime for more park patrols.