Customers: McDonald’s approach to deter homeless people is annoying

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A high pitched noise is coming from an Albuquerque McDonald’s. It’s an effort to deter crime and loitering, but customers and neighbors aren’t happy about it and wonder if it’s even legal.

Standing near the McDonald’s Circle K combo on Wyoming and Central for very long is difficult.

A high pitch sound is coming from two speakers attached to the building.

People in the area say the sound is not only annoying, it hurts their ears and leaves them ringing.

A former customer who stopped going to the McDonald’s because of the noise says when he asked the manager about it, he was told the restaurant installed the speakers to drive away the homeless population and crime. He says the speakers went up with their recent renovation.

This is an area that has seen plenty of stabbing, robberies and shootings.

The security guard who patrols the area says while it’s annoying to listen to during his shift, he understands why the owner would resort to something like this, although he doesn’t think it’s practical or working.

“Absolutely I would understand why they do it, absolutely. Theft, vandalism, intimidation, fights, the gang activity that’s around here, the drug dealing activity that’s around here,” Davyd Roseman said.

“We have a terrible homeless problem but a lot of these people are downright destitute and sad, but they need more help than an earache,” Dwane, the former customer, said.

One of the speakers is pointed at a bus stop on Central and Wyoming. In May ABQ Ride removed the bus shelter to deter homeless people from hanging out there.

The city’s Environmental Health Department says it has received some complaints about the noise.

They actually sent out a crew Friday afternoon to measure the frequency and decibels to see if it’s allowed under the city’s ordinance.

After the story first aired, McDonald’s sent KRQE News 13 a statement saying “We’ve been working with the Albuquerque Police Department on approved options to deter crime in the area around this McDonald’s restaurant. This is an ongoing process to ensure the safety and security of our employees and customers.”

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