New Mexicans are compassionate people and were behind former Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s “A Better Way” initiative to address homelessness in the City of Albuquerque. The idea was that if the City provided the needs of the homeless, they would not be on the streets. Those elected officials did not understand what every business owner knows: your customers will increase when you provide what they need at a fair price. The Mayor and City Council Members did not end homelessness; they increased homelessness.
I assume Santa Fe Democrats did not pass a “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law because it was too harsh to those with two felonies. A few years ago, I gave a ride to an individual catching a train to VAMC treatment center in St. Louis. On the way, we stopped for his belongings (stashed behind a bush, he was homeless). I bought him breakfast and lunch to go. As we ate, I asked him where he was from and what brought him to New Mexico. He was from California and had two felonies and could not handle the stress of not getting a third felony. New Mexico is welcoming to those with multiple felonies.
Santa Fe Democrats Banned Qualified Immunity for our police two years ago. My buddy, Susan B, in Los Angels, related to me; her friend witnessed a person looting two stores and then proceeded to the city bus. She flagged down a police officer and pointed out the thief and the store he looted. The police officer responded that since she would not file charges, he would not arrest that individual who would most likely resist arrest and sue him. That is why APD arrives after the dust settles to take a report.
Dollar General Store NW Albuquerque Photo by KQRE
I spoke with a retail clerk of a dollar-type store two years ago. She told me their new manager had ended the policy of allowing the neighborhood homeless people to shoplift. After implementing the new policy, homeless person or persons started a fire in the store. Essentially the homeless are running an old fashion protection racket. It reminds me of watching a shakedown racket on the “Sopranos.” And like in “Sopranos,” the police and politicians look the other way.
The Mayor and City Council have, until recently, been passively involved in the homeless shake-down racket. But now they provide the means for the homeless to take their shake-down rack across the city. People are observing the homeless waiting for the Albuquerque bus to return them safely to their neighborhood with their stolen goods—the video of four individuals stealing liquor and then calmly walking to the Albuquerque Bus Stop.
We hear the official responses so often that we can almost recite them from memory. This is scary for the business owners. It is frightening for the shoppers. This is unacceptable. We are currently investigating. We cannot comment because of the ongoing investigation. We are hopeful our new program will make a difference. Important crime victims to file a police report. We get the City of Albuquerque Public Relation spiel, “Acknowledged the feelings (it is scary), Tomorrow will be better (hope), Blame the victim (they don’t file a police report).
Individuals and businesses have given up on the Albuquerque Mayor and Council providing for our basic needs, Safety. Businesses and individuals are contracting with private armed security forces to ensure their and their customers’ safety and protect their belongings. Businesses have given up filing police reports because the police will not track down the perpetrators, and if the perpetrator is arrested, the district attorney will not prosecute. Now we have stopped reporting the loss to our insurance company.
I believe the reason for the increase in homicides is that the Mayor and Council have created an environment where law-abiding citizens and criminals have become desensitized, which leads to escalation. How? Violent crimes are reduced to lower charges, or no charges are filed. I have now heard of businesses not reporting armed robberies because they do not want to be shut down for being a criminal nuisance. Property crimes are not reported because businesses have given up. But in Murder, there is no hiding the body or the statistics.
Our Mayor, Council, and business leaders continue to believe that if we “Brag It, Not Bag It,” our city will have a bright future. Now, even London residents know.
How can we regain control of our neighborhoods? 1) What my good buddy did. A homeless person walked into the store he was in and told him, “You’re buying me lunch.” His response was no. The homeless person pointed to the young woman behind the cash register and said, “She will” The homeless man walked away when my Good Buddy told him, “Not while I am standing here.” 2) Throw the bums out and I don’t mean the homeless.
Host, “To the Point with Mick Rich.” 2018 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate (NM). Founder & CEO, Mick Rich Contractors. Husband, father, grandfather. Read more from Mick Rich at MickRich.substack.com.
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