Albuquerque NE residents create neighborhood association to deter crime

Posted at: 02/23/2013 9:31 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

About 100 people had a meeting in January to discuss the idea of an association, but after a recent weekend of crime, they made it a reality.

The people in the Northeast Heights community - spans from Juan Tabo to Chelwood Park and Indian School to Constitution - started a neighborhood association Saturday.

"I'm very excited. Safety in our neighborhoods is a universal value.

We should all feel safe in our homes," Dr. Cornelia Lange said.

A week ago, a car drove into Robert Flores's home off Chelwood Park and Indian School.

The driver took off, but police later arrested him.

Around the same time, two men kicked in a woman's door and shot at her.

They stole her car, but police found it later that night. They are still looking for the two men. Recent events have startled some people.

"My particular hot button issue is crime. What I would like to see the association do is get a neighborhood watch," Gary Guillen said.

The APD Foothills Area Commander did have some good news.

He said burglary, robbery and auto thefts actually went down from 2011-2012. But residents said 2013 is off to a bad start.

"It makes it a little bit scarier. I live about one hundred yards down that same street one chelwood park boulevard. It kinda makes you worry a little bit more," Gary Guillen said.

The city councilor for the associations district, Don Harris, said have an organization can help give input to police.

"There has to be constant communication between the community and police. And then the whole community, essentially, becomes part of the public police force," Harris said.

But one of the plans for the association is to get ahead of property depreciation in the area.

"These homes are getting older. There are some rentals coming in. And we just have to really make sure that the laws are enforced, and that we have a real good police presence, and things don't deteriorate," Harris said.

The association is formed and the group will meet in March to name a president and board of directors. Residents said they are already seeing more APD patrols in the area.