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Friday, May 27, 2011
Vigilance Urged in Trumbull
By Astrid Galvan
Journal Staff Writer
Residents of Trumbull Village need to rally together and be proactive in reporting crime if they want their neighborhood to be safer, community and city leaders said at a meeting Thursday.
More than 50 residents attended the Trumbull Village Neighborhood Association meeting at the César Chávez Community Center. Also in attendance were City Councilor Rey Garduño and state Sen. Timothy M. Keller, D-Albuquerque. The meeting was organized by association president Joanne Landry in an effort to re-energize the community, and to bring attention to what many say is an increasing crime rate.
Landry said she first became concerned crime was increasing, and police were less present, in August of last year. But the tipping point was the four homicides in Trumbull this year alone, a high number considering that the neighborhood has averaged one per year for the past eight years.
At the meeting Thursday, Landry advocated being more vigilant and reporting more activity to police.
"The police are going to be as present as we want them to be," Landry said. "If we do nothing, we are part of the problem."
Albuquerque police say violent crime has dropped significantly over the eight years because of continuing and dedicated patrolling, and that none of the homicides this year are part of a trend or indicate a jump in violent crime.
Still, APD Commander Murray Conrad acknowledged Thursday a need to continue working closely with the community in fighting some of the more prevalent crimes. Conrad has said armed robberies and prostitution continue to plague Trumbull.
Standing on crutches at the meeting, Conrad encouraged residents to contact him, even handing out his cell phone number and email address. He emphasized that neighbors need to do their part in reporting crimes or anything suspect.
"We are here for you, but let me tell you, when I drive down the street, faces disappear. As soon as (police) go around the corner, that's when you see it," Conrad said.
Lester Barrs said he sees crimes happen all the time at his apartment complex, the Warren Apartments on Louisiana. Barrs sees everything from drug exchanges to prostitution, and he's growing increasingly worried about his neighborhood.
"I've lived in Warren for six years. I've never seen it this bad," Barrs said.
Others chimed in how the community could improve its quality of life
"The apartments, that's a profit-making business, and we should hold them accountable like any other business," said Enrique Cardiel. "It's not all on APD, and it should not all be on APD. It should be on all of us."