6 officers patrol all of Albuquerque's open space
May 22, 2019 06:11 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From the West Mesa to the East Mountains, there is a lot of protected lands in Albuquerque. The Open Space Division manages and maintains over 29,000 acres of open space.
Brian Shannon is one of their six officers with the Open Space police. 15 years ago, there used to be 28 officers.
"The biggest problem we have is people camping down here," he said. "You know, starting fires, campfires."
He said that most of the time the calls are from people using the open space, but sometimes they do have incidents while they're patrolling.
Earlier this month, officers found a man camping out who had warrants out for his arrest.
Last week, Open Space Officers were checking for people in the Bosque camping along the flooding river banks to ensure they were out of the flood zone. Officers came across a male subject who had set up camp next to the rising water and was asleep. (1/2)— Albuquerque Police (@ABQPOLICE) May 6, 2019
After some investigation it was determined he was a wanted subject from Farmington, NM who had tried to hide in the Bosque to avoid capture. He was removed from the flooded area and arrested for felony warrants. (2/2)— Albuquerque Police (@ABQPOLICE) May 6, 2019
"With that much land, we do our best," Shannon said.
Shannon said the Open Space officers are working to have someone on schedule every day of the week.
Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said that more officers for the Open Space Division could be a possibility.
"As long as we can get our patrols settled in and we have an adequate number of officers patrolling each sector of the city," Gallegos said. "That allows us to invest more in specialty positions like open space."
Right now, the Open Space Division only has officers available on-call Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Updated: May 22, 2019 06:11 PM
Created: May 22, 2019 04:57 PM
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