- Crime and hazardous conditions required closure
ALBUQUERQUE – After weeks of outreach, service offerings and notice, the city closed Coronado Park Wednesday, Albuquerque officials said.
The area has been fenced off, leaving empty grounds that had been a hotbed for narcotic usage, trafficking and organized crime. The park sustained severe damage and it became increasingly difficult for city staff to clean it over the years. Damage to the park’s irrigation system, a dug in-ground pool, pilfered electricity, hazardous trees, and overall lack of sanitation posed increasing health risks to the people in the park, officials said in a press release Thursday afternoon.
APD officers have been interacting with people at Coronado Park on a daily basis and have reported violent crime and drug trafficking occurring more frequently. This year alone, APD received 418 calls for service directly at Coronado Park.
Here’s what they found at the park:
- 1 Shotgun
- 3 Handguns
- 4,500 Fentanyl pills
- 3,008 Grams of Methamphetamine (over 5lbs)
- 24 GM’s of heroin
- 29 GM’s of cocaine
- Several rocks of crack cocaine
- $10,000.00 Cash
- 3 Felony warrants cleared
- 2 Federal warrants cleared
- 85 ACS response (Since September 21)
- 651 APD calls for service (2021) & 418 (YTD 2022)
- 2 shootings (Last 2 years)
- 20 assault and battery reports
Since the beginning of the month, the city has been carrying out intensive outreach and safety operations to connect with people living in Coronado Park and keep the surrounding neighborhoods safe. The effort has focused on helping folks find viable alternatives, cleaning the park, and mitigating negative impacts to area businesses and residents, officials said.
The Solid Waste Department (SWD) and the Parks and Recreation Department (PRD) have worked to clean the park and maintain the grounds as much as possible.
Last week, SWD removed over 20 tons of waste from the park. Because of the level of waste and damage to the grounds, the teams moved to a weekly clean up schedule leading up to the closure. . The encampment outreach teams will enforce rules in the area so that the surrounding sidewalks and areas with children’s programing, like nearby Wells Park, are kept safe and clear.
Next steps range from permanent closure, eventual re-opening as a park, or repurposing for other uses which may include housing, shelter space or public safety training.
The park will remain closed and outreach will continue to the unsheltered. The park will no longer be a drop-off or pick-up for the westside shelter, shuttle locations can be found here.