Local leaders discuss crime, homelessness at Albuquerque town hall

[anvplayer video=”5130743″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Some of Albuquerque’s heavy-hitters met on Tuesday at what could be the largest forum dedicated to crime and homelessness in years.

More than a dozen agencies and organizations convened to talk directly with concerned neighbors from across the city. Leaders say the focus will be on property crime, car theft, and homelessness specifically.

The idea was for all the stakeholders to discuss the problems and brainstorm proposals for state lawmakers to support during our next legislative session. But it really turned into a massive vent session for folks who are tired of waiting for change. 

Homelessness is a community issue, but for a lot of people living and working near it, that issue has become more of a personal one. 

KOB 4 heard people complain about the recent idea of Safe Outdoor Spaces for the homeless and encampments in some neighborhoods. More than one recommendation came up that centered around moving some of the homeless to other cities. 

There was no shortage of emotion during the discussion around crime either. A second group of folks led that discussion and the people in it were fed up with more than burglaries and break-ins. They wanted to talk about all the crime they’re seeing, especially in northwest Albuquerque. 

But that conversation also escalated to include more complicated issues within our judicial system. 

“You send them to jail and the judicial system has to let them go because they don’t have the staff to house them.”

It’s also important to mention there was quite a focus on education in the discussions about homelessness, as well as the status of the Gateway Center and the West Side Shelter. 

There was also some clarification about what is fact and fiction with those Safe Outdoor Spaces. 

At the very least, people may have left with more accurate information than what they had when they arrived. 

The three state representatives and three state senators who were present now have their work cut out for them.

The goal is to take the ideas from tonight and use it to help deliver on some legislation during the upcoming session in January.