ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque has been trying to get people to move downtown for years and many have started calling the area home. However, some downtown residents say they are tired of dodging lawbreakers outside their doors.
“You’re harassed constantly,” said one neighbor.
Residents living at the Silver Gardens and Casitas De Colores apartment complexes said its difficult living downtown when it’s a stomping ground for crooks.
“There’s a lot going on down here,” said Rose Martinez.
They said for the amount of crime near the bus station, there’s not enough police patrolling the area.
“We’re harassed by panhandlers, drug dealers, gang members, prostitutes, and it’s getting old,” said another neighbor.
One Silver Gardens neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he is seeking changes for the community.
“We’re trying to get rid of all the amenities if you will, of the criminal element down here where they can hang out,” said the neighbor.
The list includes preparing broken lights and adding even more lighting, putting up no trespassing signs, and even removing all benches and seating from Central to the Lead Street bridge.
“They’ve taken control of this area and we want it back,” said the neighbor.
The Mayor’s office said they take every idea seriously and they are already working on a long-term answer by adding even more housing and attractions downtown.
“A really big key to help diminishing a lot of ill activity is often having people living there,” said Gilbert Montano, chief of staff for Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry.
Montano also said current neighbors can help alleviate the crime by reporting any suspicious activity to authorities.
The neighbors KRQE News 13 spoke to said they want to stay in the area, see downtown grow and want a quick fix to the ongoing crime problem.
“Depending on the day, I feel sometimes unsafe,” said Martinez.
Neighbors did get a response from City Councilor Ike Benton, who said they’re working on the requests from neighbors.