Word's out: Come to ABQ if you're a homeless criminal - Albuquerque Journal

Word’s out: Come to ABQ if you’re a homeless criminal

After more than 50 years of counting and visiting Albuquerque’s homeless camps, I have looked at a model of the city’s proposed program — Coronado Park — and am not at all surprised. There could not have been anything more hopeless looking, except perhaps the city’s unwillingness to penalize the ever-growing number of out-of-control repeat offenders who choose to live on our streets.

We have found that all the city-owned lots and parks for miles to the north, south, east and west of this location are completely free of tents and other camp sites. For some secret reason everyone has been channeled to this one area. For three years we have repeatedly asked the Albuquerque Police Department officers for an explanation and have received none to this day. …

The four security guards assigned to this designated location disappeared after about 18 months. But while they were on watch they did just that.

They watched while the drug dealers trafficked heroin, methamphetamine and other very dangerous drugs back and forth from the eight to 10 drug houses surrounding the St. Martin’s Day shelter on stolen bicycles. The(ir) guard dogs have been running out of the tents without chains or leashes. Fires have been burning at night to keep people warm when we have well over 200 empty beds available every night free of charge in Albuquerque in at least 15 locations.

Yes, the city installed portable restrooms with hand-washing stations, but those areas have always without a doubt resembled over-the-ground cesspools. Weapons are not allowed, but everyone has either a screwdriver, a hammer, a mop handle, a stainless-steel fork or rocks in socks, or some other serious-injury type throw-away weapon somewhere within reaching distance. Broken glass from empty alcohol containers, human waste and every other thing that the posted signs prohibit are found everywhere.

Out of the more than 4,000 calls made to APD by the surrounding property owners for this one address, next to zero citations or even warning tickets were given. … Crime is not down. The proper paperwork is not being done to show the crime. We are now being told the troublemakers will be kicked out of these new campsites. Is that right? Why then are these experts who advise the mayor not reporting the failures of their previous promises to us before (there’s a) vote?

Before voting we would like to know more about (any) dangerous drug trafficking and violent altercations … at the day and night shelters, motel rooms and apartments where their clients are being placed.

Okay, yes, the troublemaker who is a danger to himself and to the others around him is kicked out.

But he is given another place. It’s called Albuquerque. Word is out again and has been spreading throughout New Mexico’s cities, towns, pueblos and surrounding areas: Go to Albuquerque if you have a drug or alcohol addiction, or if you’re just lazy. You can get help there even if you are a danger to those around you. Tell the day shelter therapists what they want to hear, get $840 monthly, food stamps, endless free needles, apartments, motel rooms, no drug testing, police are told stand back, employment not necessary. Go to Albuquerque.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Word’s out: Come to ABQ if you’re a homeless criminal

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