City cracks down on illegal homeless camps

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A homeless camp popped up near a middle school, community center and police substation. Parents, who are just finding out about it, are concerned.

For a while now, the city said they have been keeping a close eye on this park following reports of drug use and people camping out here.

Monday morning Albuquerque Police at the park woke up a few of those homeless campers.

Despite park rules, right behind a Van Buren Middle School, a community center and a police substation, a homeless camp popped up at Phil Chacon park near Louisiana Boulevard.

“I don’t think this park is safe anymore,” Carol Medina, who lives nearby said.

For Medina, the park is close to her kids’ school and their home. She said a few months ago, during the summer, they enjoyed walking to the park and playing, but now its a different story.

“Actually there have been a lot of problems. There will be people that are drunk, I assume they are drunk, just passed out by the playground,” Medina said.

The city of Albuquerque said this park has been on their radar for a few months.

“It gets frustrating for our staff, it gets frustrating for the residents. It becomes simply a cat-and-mouse game of us trying to expend our resources to try and help these individuals,” Gilbert Montano with the City of Albuquerque said.

APD came to Phil Chacon Park Monday morning hoping to clear out troublemakers. Those who live near said it’s about time and they too recognize the city offers help.

“I know for a fact that the city of Albuquerque has a bunch of homeless programs, for them to do this its just because they choose,” Medina said.

Medina has personally had problems with homeless campers at the park. With young kids and a teenage daughter, she said she’s on edge living so close. Especially since drugs are apparent.

“There are needles everywhere. The other day he actually asked me what they were,” Medina said.

“They will ask us if we want to buy [drugs],” Medina’s teen daughter said, “they will be like $5 a pop.”

The city says overnight shelters are open, especially now that the weather is getting colder, but illegal homeless camps seem to be popping up more.

KRQE News 13 asked APD for more details about the police scene at the park Monday morning, but they were unable to comment.

 

 

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