The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is making plans to build a new police substation in a troubled area of Albuquerque.
Residents near San Mateo Boulevard and Kathryn Avenue have reported various crimes throughout the years, from burglaries to homicides. In the past two years, there were more than 300 emergency calls made. Many complaints involved problems with the homeless.
“I never feel safe walking by myself in my own neighborhood,” said resident Kayla Watkins.
The City of Albuquerque purchased abandoned property near San Mateo and Kathryn for $1.5 million. This budget is intended for the new substation as well as developing new businesses to help improve the subsistence of the neighborhood.
“This neighborhood has a huge problem with homelessness and crime and it is one of the reasons I moved,” said former resident Leah Montoya.
In the most recent four weeks, the area had reports of burglary, assault, auto theft and DUI — according to crimemapping.com.
Police substations are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Staff duties include answering questions from the community, filing reports and addressing any non-emergency needs.
Montoya said she has still has family in the area and the new substation will give her a sense of security.
The closest area command to San Mateo and Kathryn is the Southeast police substation located on Louisiana Boulevard, which is only a few blocks away from the new substation’s proposed site.
The new substation will replace the Southeast location which also has the most officers. APD already operates six area commands throughout the city. Each of these substations is staffed with at least 80 police officers, depending on the amount of crime and size of the area command.
“I’m surprised that this area is finally getting some attention,” Watkins said. “Many of us never expected it to, but I’m glad there is a chance to feel more safe.”