ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Community members are asking Albuquerque police to set up shop inside a local grocery store. As it turns out, this is not an unusual request.
“We really would love to see that there and a lot of the neighbors would love to see it there. There’s a bunch of us that support it,” said Lynette Curley-Roam. She and others would like to see an APD substation set up inside the Alberston’s near San Mateo and Montgomery.
Neighbors in northeast Albuquerque are rallying on the site ‘Nextdoor,’ asking one another to reach out to APD if they support the idea.
“The police presence is a real deterrent to crime, and I really respect that, and we really need it,” Curley-Roam told KRQE News 13.
She and others said they don’t feel safe in the area, especially at night.
“There are people that approach you in the parking lot for money,” Curley-Roam explained. “This office that I’m in right now where I work has been broken into twice, and I’ve pretty much had it.”
Neighbors have contacted APD about the idea, and apparently, it’s a common request.
“We get lots of requests from community partners,” said Celina Espinoza, Community Outreach Director for the Albuquerque Police Department. “They want an officer stationed inside that facility, or they have some extra desk space and would be willing to open up an office for us.”
Recently, Espinoza said APD was offered office space by Defined Fitness.
While APD agrees police presence does help deter criminals, Espinoza said a new substation isn’t the best way to fight crime.
“If you put the officer in the parking lot as opposed to inside the building, that helps immensely,” Espinoza told KRQE News 13.
Rather than an extra office, extra patrols in an area may be more effective, Espinoza explained, especially since officers have a mobile office in their patrol cars.
Right now there’s an APD substation in each area command, at least six across the city. Even then, you won’t always find an officer there.
“I think there’s a misconception that officers sit at a desk,” said Espinoza. “The officers will come and download their cameras you know at the end of their shifts, and maybe finish some paperwork there, but they’re rarely stationed at that substation.”
Neighbors know cops can’t be everywhere at once. However, Curley-Roam and others said they’ll take all the help they can get when it comes to curbing crime.
“Every single day there’s crime going on and it’s very scary,” said Curley-Roam.
Espinoza said most APD substations are run by volunteers.
While there won’t likely be one put in the store, Albertson’s workers told News 13 they would also like a substation there. Albertson’s corporate office wouldn’t comment.