Police to shut down homeless camps along bosque

Posted at: 03/14/2013 4:36 PM
Updated at: 03/14/2013 6:19 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The city of Albuquerque is giving the homeless living in the bosque until Friday morning before crews start clearing them out and possibly make arrests.   

The city says it's necessary to keep the bosque safe, especially approaching fire season.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 went out along the bosque and spoke with people who hope the city approaches the homeless the right way.

The weather's finally nice enough for Mary Trujillo and family to get out and ride along the bosque.

They know many homeless people live in settlements a stone's throw away; hidden behind a wall of trees and shrubs.

"I feel safe, I don't know that I would come alone," said Trujillo.

Others like Cheryl Kabella rely on pets for security - just in case.

"Walking out there and seeing a few tents that I did see, it did raise some concern," she said.

"Why is that?" KOB 4 asked.

"I'm afraid they might jump me, hurt me," Kabella explained. "Homeless people, some of them are sick and mentally ill."

First thing Friday morning the city is sending crews to find these villages and shut them down.   

They got a head start Wednesday and arrested a man found living in the bosque near Central.

It's a thought that is unsettling to Kabella.

"I wouldn't want them to be arrested, maybe warn them that they need to leave," said Kabella.

"How are they going to treat them? As far as where are they going to put them, some people don't have anywhere to go," Trujillo added.

Trujillo says it's a sad problem, but these are people.

She hopes the city can use the opportunity to offer kindness, and maybe help.

"If they can accommodate them, they should," said Trujillo.

Police said there will most likely be more arrests.

They will also refer the homeless to shelters, so they can get some help.