BCSO to ramp up efforts to curb crime, drug use along Route 66
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The effort to clean up Route 66 is ramping up. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office announced they are going into phase two of their Central Corridor Operation.
Deputies and county partners have been working to identify problems through the summer, and now they are ready to address them.
“People aren’t feeling safe, I get calls again, nightly. I want to make sure that perception is back that it’s safe, and there’s a law enforcement presence. We have a lot of work to do,” said BCSO Sheriff John Allen.
The focus is going to be the entirety of Central Avenue through town. But, to start, they are working to curb retail crime, drug use, and gun violence near Tramway. Then, work their way west.
Driving down Central, it’s not hard to miss homeless encampments popping up, broken windows on local businesses, and needles on the sidewalk.
Now, BCSO is cracking down, starting this week you will see more deputies trying to clean up Central Avenue.
“The key is you need to see a presence from law enforcement and proactivity to make sure that we are addressing it and our constituents are not only getting their calls of service answered, but their problems are being addressed over a sustainable amount of time,” said Allen.
Another issue they are trying to address is the root causes of homelessness.
“I want to also make sure that we tell everybody unhoused is not a crime, people do need resources. But at the same time, as we’ve all said before, there’s a thing of tough love also. If you’re committed to crime in front of our deputies, you’re going to be forced into the criminal justice system,” Allen said.
But the sheriff’s office is not just relying on the courts to clean up Route 66, they are working closely with the Bernalillo County Care Campus.
“Clients that come in at any time, we are open 24 hours. If they’re needing assistance, they come in, we do their intake, and then they’re actually able to see a provider to start their detox medications,” said Jessica Jaramillo with Bernalillo County Care Campus.
Besides detox, the care campus also offers crisis intervention, mental illness treatment, housing assistance, or just a safe place to hang out for the day.
Allen says phase two of the Central Corridor Operation doesn’t have a timeline, and it could take years to not only make Central safer, but to change people’s perception of this part of town.